For those of you who have summited Kilimanjaro, witnessed the Great Migration and kayaked the Okavango, but remain in search of the next great African adventure; we bring you Uganda. A place where wildlife outnumbers tourists countless times over, our Africa travel experts have delved deep beneath the surface to bring you closer to the action than ever before. From tracking elusive mountain gorillas up in the hills of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to walking alongside playful chimpanzees in Kibale National Park and researching lions that roam the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park; a safari through Uganda will take you into the heart of Africa to discover more than just the Big Five. Oh, and the best bit? You can do it all in just eight days. Flights booked? Let’s go.
Flying into Entebbe, you’ll head out of the city and straight into the verdant forests of Kibale National Park. Perched high up in the rolling hills of the Buyuruguru Crater Lakes, you’ll spend your first two nights at the spellbinding Ndali Lodge. Looking out from the private terrace of your cottage, the views here are simply extraordinary with the towering Rwenzori Mountains on one side, falling away to the glittering waters of Lake Nyinambuga on the other. So settle in and enjoy the view, tomorrow you’ll be swinging into the animal kingdom.Read more
Kibale is undisputedly chimpanzee country and as you head into the leafy surrounds of their natural habitat, you’ll soon see why. Swinging from branch to branch in the canopy high up above your head, you’ll soon come to know their playful reputation. Even if you don’t quite catch sight of them, their hoots and hollers ricochet off of every surface, leaving you in no doubt that they are nearby. Kibale is a place to keep your eyes on the sky with the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary also home to fluttering butterflies and countless bird species, including the rare Papyrus Gonolek. In the evenings, watch the sun dip down behind the mountains before tucking into a romantic candle-lit dinner for two.
A Safari Fit For Royalty
The next morning, after a quick hike through the foothills of Mount Rwenzori, it’s time to wave goodbye to the chimpanzees of Kibale as you continue onto your next stop; Queen Elizabeth National Park. But this is Africa and so here, we do transfers a bit differently; via game drive. Rumble through the Kasenyi Plains and the Mweya Peninsula and spot lions stalking herds of Ugandan kob and leopards lazing in scrubby thickets before arriving at your luxurious home for the next few nights. A former coffee store converted into a stylish safari lodge where local artefacts are given a contemporary twist and chic bandas open up onto sweeping views of the park; Kyambura Gorge Lodge is the perfect spot from which to enjoy the park.
For the next few days, you’ll have almost 2,000km2 of pristine national park at your fingertips – and barely anyone to interrupt your view. Keep your eyes peeled as you trundle over rolling savanna and team up with researchers to track and monitor lion behaviour and cruise down the Kazinga Channel alongside one of Africa’s densest concentrations of hippo. Ever diverse, we’ll also organise for you to visit the Kyambura Womens Coffee Co-operative and nearby Wetland Reserve for an insight into the life of local communities.
Your final stop on this Ugandan discovery is the incomparable Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where you’ll spend three nights hidden away amid swirling mountain mists at the luxurious Bwindi Lodge. Immersed in rich jungle surroundings, the lodge places equal emphasis on the environment as it does on unrivalled comfort. But its best feature? The neighbours. Hidden amongst the densely forested hills and camouflaged by thick vegetation, join expert trackers on a trek through the undergrowth for a chance to witness elusive mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Peering through the foliage at these mighty creatures makes for a truly inspiring experience which you’re going to want to have a camera handy for.
But Bwindi is not just home to gorillas; it is also the ancient home of the Batwa Forest People. So, on your final day, you’ll join an expert guide on a journey along the Batwa Trail to discover how these indigenous people harvested herbs for medicine, collected water using bamboo and built homes out of grass thatch. In a fitting end to the Trail and to your trip, you’ll come to Garama Cave; the former ceremonial place of the Batwa, where you’ll enjoy a performance symbolic of the Batwa culture before returning to the lodge for one last starlit dinner before home.
Nine days and countless unique species later, we know you’ll be flying home with a big smile on your face – after all, you’ve just been let in on Africa’s best-kept secret.