Once in a lifetime adventure
An overnight stay in Entebbe at the start will be required and we recommend a couple of nights at least as there are lots of things to do including a visit to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Lake Victoria’s Ngamba Island or even get up close and personal with young chimps at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, a spot of Nile Perch fishing or go in search of the rare Shoebill Stork.
Then it is up and out early with your private guide and 4×4, who will remain with you throughout your stay in Uganda and thus offers the flexibility to structure your days as you wish. Easing in gently en route to the gorillas, you will pass through traditional farming and village life and spend a night by the shores of Lake Mburo where you will get out and explore the enormous birdlife variety by motorboat. You will then start to pass through what is often referred to as the Scotland of Africa as you drive up through the lush green mountains and escarpments and into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Over three magical nights you will have the opportunity to track magnificent mountain gorillas, a life changing moment for some. This area also lends itself to meeting the fascinating Batwa (pygmy) tribe and putting yourself out there by taking a local community village walk.
From Bwindi drive through stunning countryside from the mountains and forests, villages and amazing farming properties to Queen Elizabeth National Park that has some of the best wildlife on offer in Uganda and one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world. Stay in two contrasting locations over 4-nights so you can go in search of the tree climbing lion, enjoy a boat trip along the enormous Kazinga Channel where masses of wildlife, birdlife and fishing villages intermix, and explore & sample the product of a community coffee plantation.
Heading north over the equator to Kibale Forest National Park, the drive will offer amazing views over the Ruwenzori Mountains and volcanic lakes that are picture perfect. Here you have the chance to trek for Chimpanzees in Kibale forest. Bird lovers will be in heaven in the Bigodi Wetlands where you can go in search of the Great Blue Turaco. Spend some time soaking up the magnificence of the scenery, explore the beauty of the surrounding crater lakes, visit a local Bigodi Village or tour a nearby tea estate. From here return to Entebbe for departure or talk with us about extending your stay in the Pearl of Africa.
You will love
- Gorillas and chimps galore
- Wildlife without the crowds
- Birding paradise
- Privately guided
- Exquisite green and fertile landscapes
- Warmest smiles in Africa
13 UNFORGETTABLE DAYS
DAY 1 | ENTEBBE | 1 NIGHT
Welcome to Uganda. Your professional local guide, who will remain with you for entire safari, will collect you from the airport and take you the short distance to your boutique hotel accommodation for your overnight stay. Time to unwind after your journey. We recommend you add another night to enjoy some of the activities on offer here, such as a behind-the-scenes close-up encounter at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre where you can join younger rescued chimps during their daily exercise routine.
DAY 2 | LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK | 1 NIGHT
Depart by road with your guide and 4×4 bound for Lake Mburo, a drive of approx. 4-5 hours passing through traditional villages & farmland en route. Take an afternoon game drive upon arrival in Uganda’s smallest national park or take to the lake for a motorboat excursion on the lake to discover the breadth of bird species in the shores and within the reeds. Plenty of hippo and crocodile reside in the lake whilst on land you might find zebra, eland and impala. Enjoy a three course dinner before retiring for the evening.
DAY 3 | BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST | 3 NIGHTS
Take a leisurely game walk before departing by road to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a beautifully scenic drive of about 5-6 hours. Along the way you will pass tea plantations and lush green mountain ranges before ascending towards Bwindi. Farmlands & villages dot the landscape, it is magical. Arrive at Buhoma Village and to your nearby lodge which sits close to the park entrance for the start of your gorilla trekking. If you arrive early enough take a walk through the local community, even try a local brew. Dinner and an early night before your big day ahead.
DAY 4 | BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST
Depart from the lodge first thing and assemble at the Park HQ to meet your gorilla trackers & National Park Guide. Carrying a packed lunch, you will set off into the forest in search of the magnificent mountain gorillas. Porters are available to assist you if required. Once you have located a family of gorillas you will have one hour to spend in their company, witnessing them interacting with each other. Then it is sadly time to retrace your steps and return to the lodge for a celebratory dinner and reflect on the incredible experience of today!
DAY 5 | BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST
Today you have the opportunity to undertake a second gorilla trek. This is at additional cost and must also be pre-booked. Alternatively, you might wish to join the Bwindi Local Community Village Walk and visit a local homestead, Womens’ Collective, traditional healer, banana brewery and the Mukono Primary School, or spend the day on a hike in the rainforest with local Batwa guides. The Batwa pygmies will reveal how they once lived & hunted whilst teaching you all about medicinal plants and pointing out the abundant birdlife. Enjoy a sunset drink at the lodge before dinner.
DAY 6 | QUEEN ELIZABETH NP (ISHASHA) | 4 NIGHTS
After breakfast depart Bwindi bound for the southern end of Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). Along the way visit two Ishasha Community Projects ‐ Deo’s farm and Agartha’s homestead ‐ both run by inspiring local people who will give a unique insight into everyday life, growing crops and providing for a family in rural Uganda. Continue to your safari camp in the wildlife rich Ishasha (southern) section of QENP. Arrive in time for lunch and a siesta before heading on a game drive to see what resident wildlife you can find. Sunset drinks before dinner and relaxing by the campfire under the stars.
DAY 7 | QUEEN ELIZABETH NP (ISHASHA)
Today you will enjoy a bush breakfast with morning and afternoon game drives on offer. There will be hardly another vehicle in sight in the Ishasha region but what you will see is plenty of wildlife. Here you will be looking for the vast herds of elephant, perhaps watch hyenas hunt or spying on some of the area’s famous tree-climbing lions.
DAY 8 | QUEEN ELIZABETH NP (Mweya)
After a morning game drive and breakfast, you will depart with your guide heading north to the Mweya section of QENP. In this region you will start to observe panoramic Rift Valley scenery, the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, volcanic craters, and lakes. You will arrive at your accommodation close to Kyambura Gorge in time for lunch. Spend the afternoon either relaxing by the swimming pool or taking a coffee plantation walking tour, where you get to enjoy the delicious final product, or a walk into Maramagambo Forest.
DAY 9 | QUEEN ELIZABETH NP (Mweya)
Primate enthusiasts might wish to trek the habituated chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge this morning. Alternatively you could spend the day in QENP by accompanying predator researchers to go lion tracking in the morning followed by lunch and then an afternoon wildlife viewing boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel which is home to 600+ bird species, huge pods of hippo, plenty of elephant & buffalo, and a variety of antelope such as sitatunga, topi and waterbuck.
DAY 10 | KIBALE FOREST | 3 NIGHTS
The transfer north to Kibali National Park will take you over the equator and into some of Uganda’s most breathtaking scenery. The drive will take approx. 4 hours and you will arrive in time for lunch at your lodge offering stunning views over the Rwenzoris and the picture-perfect volcanic lakes. The afternoon can be spent taking a scenic drive through the region or you might like to walk about the property and enjoy the natural environment & the plentiful array of birdlife, or hike around the beautiful crater lakes.
DAY 11 | KIBALE FOREST
This morning you will be taken to the Kibali Forest National Park HQ to start your chimpanzee trekking activity. This is the best destination in Uganda to see them. How long it will take to find the chimps with your expert guide is uncertain but once you do, a full hour will be allowed to sit amongst the habituated family and observe how close their behaviour is to humans. Along the way you might spot other primates such as Red-Colobus Monkeys, Mangabeys and Baboons. The rest of the day can be spent at leisure. Alternatively, you can book a full day habituation experience where you accompany the forest’s researchers and assist in their daily habituation research, following the chimp’s through the forest and recording their behaviour and movement.
DAY 12 | KIBALE FOREST
Today you will visit the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary for a guided walk around this community-run conservation project. The variety of birdlife here is phenomenal. You might also like to explore the area further by visiting waterfalls, tea plantations, visit a local primary school and community projects, or simply enjoy the sanctuary of the lodge and reflect on all of your experiences in Uganda.
DAY 13 | RETURN TO ENTEBBE
Bid farewell to your lodge and start the day drive over about 7 to 8 hours back to Entebbe stopping along the way for refreshments and a leg stretch. Continue to onward arrangements. Note – it is possible to fly back to Entebbe in order to meet onward flight connections.
This itinerary is a suggestion only and can be amended in terms of length, destination and properties to be included.
WHERE YOU’LL STAY
A selection of the finest safari camps
Mihingo Lodge – Lake Mburo
Mihingo Lodge is a peaceful and exclusive retreat situated on 200 acres of private land, on a rocky bluff overlooking Lake Mburo National Park in Western Uganda. While here opt for boat trips on Lake Mburo, walks on the savannah, game drives and horseback safaris. Read More
Buhoma Lodge – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Buhoma Lodge commands uninterrupted views of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, home to the rare mountain gorilla. Ten comfortable, rustic cottages have been sustainably built, each with its own private veranda, allowing wonderful views of the forest canopy. It is just a short distance from the meeting point for gorilla tracking, placing you perfectly for a primate safari. Read More
Ishasha Tented Camp – Queen Elizabeth National Park
Ishasha Wilderness Camp is situated in the Queen Elizabeth National Park beside the idyllic Ntungwe river. Its remote location is famous for tree climbing lions, elephant sightings are also very good here, and the birding is excellent. Read More
Kyambura Gorge Lodge – Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kyambura Lodge is situated at the eastern side of Queen Elizabeth National Park with fantastic views over the national park and Rwenzori Mountains. The lodge places you perfectly for tracking chimpanzees amidst a plethora of mammal and bird species. Read More
Ndali Lodge – Kibale National Park
Perched on the rim of an extinct volcano overlooking a flooded caldera, Ndali Lodge is set on a working tea estate close to Kibale Forest, home to five habituated groups of chimpanzees. Tracking these charismatic creatures on foot is a incredible experience. Read More
Exellent and wonderful, reaching way above expectations.Elizabeth Mackintosh
Julia you did a fantastic job - everything was first class. Well organised, efficient and stress free. We all agreed it was the best holiday we've ever had. Cant wait to travel with CSC again.Milford family
We are so happy we put our trust in CSC, we had an amazing adventure and would recommend them to anyone.Kim & Brad Balance
The trip exceeded my expectations and was the best family holiday I have ever had. Our children simply loved it and now I know more about African wildlife than they do about our own farm animals.Rowntree family
Classic Safari are the people who genuinely know other culture and offer incredible insight to perfectly meet your expectations.Melanie McMillan & Iain Jones
We loved it all. Our son wants to go back tomorrow. We would ALL go back again!Laurence & Remi Cunningham
An amazing experience - the best family holiday we have ever had. We were extremely impressed by the meticulous attention to our itinerary. I can't speak highly enough of all the elements of this exciting journey!Sheryl & Robert Taylor
Thank you for making our trip to Africa so spectacular. The attention to detail really made it special. It really was the trip of a lifetime.Paul Cozzi
Very knowledgeable and patient. Our trip was all that we hoped for. Wonderful!Jane & Robert Happell
Everything was perfect! Advice and information on destinations and activities hit everything I had hoped to experience. I contacted the Classic Safari Company upon recommendation and have now, in turn, recommended to others.Tim Bradley
You can't improve on perfection. I had my best birthday and holiday with my family celebrating my 80th birthday in Africa. Everything that Julia organised was perfect and the whole trip was a highlight!Buckingham Family
The trip of a lifetime, couldn't have dreamt of a better adventure if I tried.Emma Jeffcoat
Absolutely everything was first class & so well organised.Simon & Jackie Adams
Classic Safari Company has done it again! A unique experience that ticked all the boxes - wildlife, culture and dining experience. A dream come true!Ros Wheeler
Their experience and knowledge of Africa is evident and we couldn't have been happier with the total package. This has given us a taste for Africa - now we are ready for more.Andrew & Pip Stevens
If you want the most sensational experience in Africa let Julia and the staff at Classic Safari Co plan it for you! Their knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm for their job means your every wish will be fulfilled.Miriam & Joseph Harrison
Classic Safari is the place to go to for "top end" adventure travel.Ron & Alison Guthrie
Classic Safari Company were brilliant - 10/10Di & Kingsley Yates
The Classic Safari Company is the best I have dealt with. Extremely knowledgeable & professional, friendly, patient & understanding of first timers to Africa.Annette Whiley
It certainly was the best trip we have EVER had. The experiences were mind blowing. We want everyone we know to experience Africa - the animals, the people - magical.Jo-anne & Dean Mifsud
Would do it all again and not change a moment. Best holiday ever!The McGowan Tribe
An absolutely fantastic travel company - every one of the many trips they have organised for us over 22 years have been faultless and fabulous.Judith & Roger Williams