• Savanna and Forest Primates of Uganda

    Tree climbing lions. Only found in Uganda.

Savanna Wildlife and Rainforest primates Tour

This tour gives you a rare opportunity to visit a park which accommodates 60% of the bird species in Uganda amidst elephants, lions and all sorts of wild animals. You'll also track Chimpanzees and Mountain gorillas in two separate national parks.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival to Uganda, Africa’s Pearl!

We shall be waiting for you at Entebbe International Airport for pick up. We shall transfer you to your hotel for overnight stay. If you arrive earlier in the day, we shall give you time to relax and then explore a bit of Kampala City later in the day. Your Kampala hotel has been chosen to offer a strong sense of place, comfort, hygiene, elegance and excellent service. Located on one of the calm leafy hills of the city, you will have the option of eating at the excellent on-site restaurant or any of a number of nearby choices.

Day 2

Transfer to Kibale Forest, stopping over at Entanda Cultural Centre

You will have early morning breakfast at your hotel, and then head to the West of Uganda. The journey is incredibly scenic, passing through villages, lush green forests and hills dotted with tea plantations which characterize this part of Uganda.

We shall have a stopover at Entanda Cultural Adventure in Mityana for half-day cultural activities. You will be welcomed with a traditional dance, entirely played by the local people with 100% local instruments. And you’re welcome to join the dance – in any case the sound of the music is irresistible.

While the cultural performance continues, you will be served with lots of fresh fruits. We shall also serve you with 100% pure honey still in its combs, harvested just a few hours before your arrival. You will then listen to the sound of one of Uganda’s forgotten musical instruments, Sekitulege. It’s played by only adults and is useful in teaching visitors about sex, and how to make a woman wild! You’ll have a chance to play it. We shall then take you through traditional food preparation. Each of the luwombo (special meal only found in Buganda) is prepared with fresh vegetables. All the food will be harvested fresh from the local gardens – growing organically. You will be taken through different ways of preparing Luwombo. We shall eat everything we cook on the day.

We shall do a short hunting expedition (about 1.5 hours). We shall sit deep in the Kibibi tropical rainforest for a 30 minutes lecture on traditional hunting – the wisdom and experiences of these hunters are thrilling to listen to.  The expedition takes you through local homesteads, wetlands, forests and tea plantations – everything is authentic and non-staged. The beauty of this activity is that the lucky animal will be identified (and caught if you’re lucky) but not killed – it will be released back to the wild. That’s our way of conserving wildlife! 

We shall have a traditional talk to explore bedroom secrets in Buganda as practiced for generations. The senior lady (senga) will teach you how to look after a husband, how to play sex the traditional way, how to use certain local herbs to treat the sick, and how to manage a home in a typical kiganda tradition. Bed matters will be thoroughly discussed and any questions will be answered. Even necessary herbs will be provided for the ladies in need. Also, the Kojja (uncles) may join you to talk about marriage issues. This discussion has always been extremely exciting as Kojjas and sengas share a combined experience of over 140 years! The talk is fairly about techniques traditionally used to excite ladies and men in bed! Please note that no recording is allowed during these sessions. Only your ears!

Finally, you will be served with luwombo and the dining is purely traditional. It is 100% fresh food, and it is eaten super-hot. You will enjoy the green vegetables commonly enjoyed in this village.

After lunch, the Entanda members shall take a selfie with you, park some fruits for you and say good bye! The journey will continue to Fort Portal for overnight stay.

You will stay at Chimpanzee Forest Guest House (http://chimpanzeeforestguesthouse.com/)

Potential project

If you agree to stay an extra three days, we can build an improved water source for the community. This is a community of up to 2400 people. However, the only well which the community has is a pond, also shared with animals. People, mainly women and children, start fetching water at 4.00am and it gets finished by 7.00am. Even then the water is not clean, often clayish. To get clean water, people have to walk about 8 kilometers carrying water on the head.

The other alternative is to build a simple health centre for the community. There is no health centre of any sort in the community and people have to use local herbs to treat the sick. The nearest health facility is miles away, often requiring patients to walk long distances, often over a very steep hill. Pregnant women in the community rely on one or two traditional birth attendants who have helped almost every woman in the community to deliver children. We could also set up a three day health camp where people come to be diagnosed and helped with treatment. This could be arranged with an association of medical workers (active or retired).

 There are other developmental projects, such as community poultry, beekeeping, vegetable growing, tree planting (fruit trees) etc which can be arranged.

Day 3

Chimpanzee tracking and the Community Swamp Walk

Welcome to the Monkey City! Kibale Forest National Park boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including the chimpanzees. Your day will start with early morning breakfast and briefing from Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers. In company of an experienced ranger, proceed to the depth of this natural tropical rainforest in search of our closest relative still living in the wild. Once you locate the chimpanzees you will have a full hour of eye-to-eye contact with them. But since they are wild animals, we can never guarantee you to see them and might have to settle with hearing their hoots and hollers.

 After the lunch break, we shall proceed to Bigodi community for a walk through a community wetland. This wetland represents a remarkable example of the role of communities in conservation efforts.  The wetland supports the entire community and is managed entirely by the local people. It offers over 200 bird species, varieties of butterflies and primates.

 Project

The community has bought land and is committed to conservation. We can use part of the afternoon to plant an indigenous tree in the community land. You make a friend (from the school children) who will look after the tree while you are away. This will require keeping in contact with the child to ensure that the tree named after you does not die. You could also explore further ways of relating with the child, such as helping with scholastic materials as a way of keeping the child motivated.

 Return to lodge for overnight stay.

 Optional: Chimpanzee habituation experience

To be 100% sure of spending time with Chimpanzees, you can pay an extra fee of only $70 per person. In company of rangers and experienced researchers, you will go on the chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the regular chimpanzee tracking. This will take all day. Book this in time because only 6 persons per day are allowed to go.

Day 4

Fort Portal Sights: A hike of a lifetime

Have breakfast and set off to Queen Elizabeth National Park, driving alongside the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, at the base of the Great East African Rift Valley. Have a stop-over at Mabere ga Nyinamwiru, stalactites and stalagmites forming as a result of underground water dissolving limestone rocks. You will learn about the ancient people’s interpretation of nature, and how society has evolved in this part of the world.

You will hike three hills to have the most beautiful view of Fort Portal – the hilltop gives a spectacular view of three lakes, the Rwenzori ranges, volcanic hills and settlements. There is nothing more beautiful than this spot!

 Continue to Queen Elizabeth National park for overnight stay. You will stay at Katara Lodge (http://www.kataralodge.com/)

Day 5

Game Drive, Boat cruises and cultural encounter

Have early morning breakfast and set off for the morning game drive in the grazers mating area. Carefully search for lions, hyenas, elephants, buffaloes and many more wild animals. Be prepared for huge numbers of hippos and birds, and keep your eyes peeled for a leopard lazing in the sunshine.

Return to lodge for lunch and take an afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, connecting between lakes Edward and George. Your eyes will be treated to varieties of bird species, wild animals, including dozens of schools of hippos. This cruise is ranked by many as one of the most exciting activities in Uganda.

Optional activity: Lion Tracking

At an extra fee of US$100 p.p., you can join the research team for a unique lion monitoring experience. Here you have a 95% chance of seeing lions up close. This new and unique experience allows you to actively participate in monitoring some of the lions in the park, using locator devices. You will learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior. The results will be added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology - and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. The experiential tourism activities currently available are Mongoose Tracking, Lion Tracking, Hippo Census, and Bird Counts. Because the number of people on each outing is limited to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors, you need to let us know of your interest in advance.  Experiential tours last between one and three hours. They usually take place in the early morning or evening, or occasionally at night.

Day 6

Tree Climbing lions and descent to the land of Mountain Gorillas

After early morning breakfast, we shall set off for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in the south, carefully driving through the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park for more wild animals and importantly, tree climbing lions. Driving through rural Uganda, with sights of green hills marked by agricultural terraces is truly refreshing. Reach Bwindi late afternoon and have good rest for the big day, gorilla sights and sounds. Your lodge, Buhoma Community Haven (http://buhomacommunity.com/buhoma-community-haven-lodge-overview/) commands spectacular and uninterrupted views of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The comfortable cottages have been carefully built, each with its own private verandah, allowing wonderful views of the forest canopy of the National Park. The lodge is fully owned, managed and operated by the local community which is one of the successful examples of community tourism enterprises in East Africa.

Day 7

Gorilla Tracking

Have an early morning breakfast, after which you will get to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest information centre for briefing. You will then set off into this tropical rainforest, hilly and soggy, to track the mountain gorillas. It’s a fairly tough walk but one you’ll never forget – the sight of these apes as they feed, play and relax is not only a humbling and emotional experience but a privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own “Gorillas in the Mist”. Besides the gorillas, you will encounter hundreds of bird species, small mammals, primates and lots of plant life. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees - the only forest in Africa that can make this claim. It also hosts five other species of primates, 113 species of mammals, over 200 species of butterflies and 360 species of birds. The gorillas you track belong to one of nine habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day. You will be allowed a maximum of one hour with the gorillas but tracking them can take up to 7 hours. 

Day 8

Return to Kampala and departure

Have morning breakfast and set off for Kampala with a stop-over at Igongo cultural museum for lunch and cultural museum experience. Proceed to Kampala with another stopover at the equator for some photos as you cross from the south to the northern hemisphere. Check into your hotel for overnight stay or return to Entebbe for departure.