5 Days – Gorilla Adventure Safari by Road

Places to Visit: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest | Lake Mutanda | Buninga Forest Community

Tour Overview

This Gorilla Adventure Safari takes you exploring the jungles of Bwindi impenetrable forest on a gorilla trekking adventure followed by an encounter with the indigenous habitats of the forest, the Batwa community.

The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular. The area offers a dramatic, steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Many find it to be a rare and moving opportunity.

Highlights:

  • Discover the southern region of the Pearl of Africa
  • Unforgettable encounter with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
  • Meet, explore and learn from the local communities
  • Support sustainable tourism initiatives

Specially created for:

  • Nature lovers
  • Safari aficionados
  • Walking enthusiasts
  • Adventure travellers

Gorilla adventure safari at a glance

  • Day 1:  Arrival in Entebbe and transfer to the Guest House – Exc. to Mabamba Swamps Papyrus Guest House
  • Day 2: Drive Entebbe to Nkuringo via the Equator and Mbarara Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge – Virunga Terrace Room or Private Cottage B, L, D
  • Day 3: Gorilla Tracking – Nkuringo or Rushaga gorilla groups Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge – Virunga Terrace Room or Private Cottage B, L, D
  • Day 4: Hike & canoe on Lake Mutanda – Nkuringo Community tour and Buninga Forest (encounter with the Batwa) Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge – Virunga Terrace Room or Private Cottage B, L, D
  • Day 5: Drive to Entebbe B, L

SAFARI ITINERARY IN DETAIL

Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe & Mabamba Swamps

Arrival in Entebbe as per your international flights and transfer to Papyrus Guest House.

In the afternoon (departure from the hotel must be max at 14.30/15.00 hours) departure by car and local canoe to Mabamba Swamp, one of the best places for spotting the rare shoebill storks. Of course some fortune is needed but rarely does one leave the swamp without seeing one! Many other water birds have chosen this area as their home so birding is always very interesting.

Enjoy a relaxing sundowner on Lake Victoria and then return to the Guest House.

  • Accommodation: Papyrus Guest House (standard room)
  • Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast basis; Lunch & Dinner on own’s account

Day 2: Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Enjoy an early breakfast travel to Western Uganda across the beautiful landscape of central Uganda: rolling hills, cultivated terraces, tropical rainforest and towards the end the majestic chain of the Virunga Volcanoes. Stop-over en-route at the equator, at Mbarara (for lunch) and at Igongo Cultural Center.

The drive takes about 8-10 hours.

  • Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Virunga Terrace Room or Private cottage)
  • Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 3: Gorilla tracking

After breakfast, at around 7:45 am, with packed lunch and drinking water you will be transfer to the National Park Head Quarters for the briefing on the dos and the don’ts while with the gorillas. You then continue to the forest for the start of the actual gorilla tracking.

The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular. The area offers a dramatic, steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time taken and the terrain vary as per the movements of these great primates. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Many find it to be a rare and moving opportunity. The tracking can take place at Nkuringo or at Rushaga (1 hr drive from Nkuringo), as per the gorilla permits obtained.

Upon return, relax at the lodge and, for those who like, at 5.00 pm either stroll through the community center or drive up to the “Top of the World” – the name given to the football field, high up in Nkuringo which offers amazing views over the peaks and forests around Nkuringo. A great way to stretch your legs after the gorilla tracking and to enjoy a sundowner.

  • Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Virunga Terrace Room or Private Cottage)
  • Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 4: Hike and canoe across Lake Mutanda, Community tour and Buniga Forests (encounter with the Batwa)

This morning after an early breakfast, drive to Rubuguri Junction (10k – 1 hour) to start a nice hike across beautiful landscapes and local communities – a great opportunity to experience authentic village life (9km – 2/3 hours). Upon arrival at Lake Mutanda you then “settle” in a dugout canoe for 2-3 hours of gentle relaxed cruising across the lake, enjoying the beautiful panorama. Meet with your vehicle and drive back to Nkuringo.

Of course you could also drive from the lodge directly to the lake (20k – 90 minutes), enjoy the canoe ride across the lake and drive all the way back to the lodge again. Guests decide!

In the afternoon stroll down to the Buniga Forest Trail Walk, an informative project run by USAID and the local Batwa community. The Batwa tribe was forced to leave their home in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in 1991 when it was declared a UNESCO Heritage site for gorillas only. They had been living in the forest as nomadic hunter-gatherers for millennia, in perfect balance with the flora and fauna around. Moving out and suddenly living in communities with a completely different way of life has proven to be a huge challenge. They now survive as best as they can and earn a living explaining their previous life in the forest and their rich heritage.

Continuation of the walk through the community to visit the traditional herbalist and the black smith.

  • Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Virunga Terrace Room or Private cottage)
  • Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 5: Travel to Entebbe

After breakfast enjoy another glimpse of the misty jungle then start the drive back to Entebbe airport. End of services.

The drive takes about 10 hours.

 

  • Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch; Dinner on own’s account.

Included in the package

  • Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge for 3 nights in full board (Virunga Terrace Room)
  • Papyrus Guest House for 1 night on Bed & Breakfast basis
  • Snacks & drinks for sundowner on Lake Victoria on day 1
  • Lunch on Lake Mutanda on day 2
  • Snacks for the sundowner on day 3
  • Drinking water in the vehicle (1 litre per person per day)
  • All the excursions and activities indicated in the itinerary (canoe ride, walks etc) under the supervision of anexperienced English-speaking Walking Guide
  • One porter per person for the hike across Bwindi Forest (max 1 main bag of 15 kg)
  • Support of a private 4×4 vehicle with experienced English-speaking driver-guide, from the morning of day 2 to the afternoon of day 5 (6 seater)
  • Transfers in Entebbe, Kisoro-Nkuringo and Buhoma-Kihihi
  • Wi-Fi (in main areas of the Guest House and Lodge)
  • AMREF Evacuation Insurance cover
  • Government taxes

Excluded from the package

  • 1 Gorilla tracking permit per person, Park/Forest Fees and Batwa Fees)
  • AeroLink Flights Entebbe – Kisoro and Kihihi – Entebbe
  • All drinks, including the drinks for the sundowner on Day 3
  • Extra porters for the hike across Bwindi due to excess of baggage
  • Uganda Entry Visa fee
  • International air flights
  • Any optional activity not indicated in above program
  • Laundry Services
  • Gratuities and Tips
  • Baggage: there is a maximum allowance of 15kg per person – for the domestic flights excess baggage is subject to space availability and is charged USD3 per each extra kg; for the Bwindi Forest hike, excess weight will mean a second porter (extra charge)