WHY RICKSHAW?

The Rickshaw Travel Group ("Rickshaw Travels") was founded in May 1988. From our humble beginnings as a small travel agency, we have grown and expanded into several countries and today have 28 years of experience in the travel business, both corporate and leisure... read more .

GORILLAS & GAME SAFARI


From USD 1980 * | from £ 1445.4*

per person sharing

This 5-day safari takes you to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in south-western Uganda. Bwindi is a verdant magnificent swathe of rain forest across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley. This ancient rainforest is one of the few on the African continent to have flourished and a home to half of the world’s endangered population of Mountain Gorillas.

Apart from gorilla trekking, the park boasts 90 mammal species, including 11 primates and prominent bird species. It is a treasure chest of flora and fauna with ten Gorilla groups currently available to be tracked by visitors.
American zoologist George Schaller, one of the first people to study gorillas in the wild, once said: “No one who looks into the eyes of a Gorilla, gentle and vulnerable, can remain unchanged.” Well, before having a close view of these gentle giants, look out across this land on the short flight and you will be amazed.
This gorilla safari is a once in a lifetime experience and is simply unforgettable – the memories of which will remain with you for a long time. Following your date with the gentle giants, you will move on to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Day 1: Arrival in Uganda 

You arrive at Entebbe airport, located on a peninsula that juts out into the largest fresh water lake in Africa, where a representative or your driver/guide will transfer you to the accommodation you have chosen for your overnight stay.

Meal Plan: Dinner

Day 2: Drive to Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park is the nearest game park to Kampala – a 3-hour drive so you will use this as a stop to divide the long drive to Lake Bunyonyi near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park into two. Traveling southwest, you will arrive at the lodge you have chosen in or near the park in time for lunch. Lake Mburo National Park is one of two game parks in Uganda where visitors are allowed to go for a bush walk with an experienced ranger. When you go on a nature walk in Mburo, it is exciting to approach wildlife at such close range. After lunch, you can relax in and around the lodge. Later, you will choose to explore the park by either going on a game drive or on a nature walk to see game at close range. Later return to the lodge for dinner and overnight. 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Complete drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After your breakfast this morning, continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to complete your drive to the home of the Mountain Gorillas. Arriving mid-afternoon, you check-in at the accommodation you have chosen and enjoy your lunch. After lunch, you can relax at the community camp, which is adjacent to the impenetrable forest. 
Afternoon: Optionally, you can choose to go on a guided nature walk ($25 per person) to meet the Ugandans who neighbour the park. You get to learn a thing or two about the culture of the people so depending on which nature trail you take, you will have a chance to meet the traditional healer and learn how the Bwindi forest resource (a UNESCO World heritage site) is used to treat people for various ailments. You can visit a local school if the school term is in session.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Gorilla tracking & transfer to Queen Elizabeth N.P

You are up at 6.00am for a quick breakfast and are transferred to the park headquarters. Here, you are allocated a gorilla family in groups of 8 people/trackers as well as a gorilla trekking guide with armed rangers. After a pre-trekking briefing by the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers and staff, touching on gorillas generally, your assigned gorilla family as well as the appropriate safety precautions, you are led or driven to the trailhead for the start of a thrilling encounter. Expect to walk/hike for between 2 and 8 hours in steep and sometimes muddy conditions, which can be tough and requires a degree of (average) fitness. However, the thrill of meeting a large Mountain Gorilla family led by a huge Silverback completely makes up for the effort. When you finally locate the family that you are tracking, sit in the forest among the gorillas, listening to them grumble to each other, feed and groom each other, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male - the silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense forest in the knowledge you are in the presence of the few remaining Mountain Gorillas in the wild. 

After the mandatory 1 hour is up, you will be led back to the starting point/trail head where your guide will be waiting to commence your drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The drive takes you via the Ishasha sector – home to the tree-climbing lions! If you are lucky, you will see them resting atop the fig trees that dominate this part of the park. From Ishasha, you will continue onto the northern sector of the park. You arrive and check-in at the accommodation you have chosen. 

What to bring for gorilla tracking/trekking: light but sturdy hiking shoes, warm clothing, light rain jacket, camera, binoculars, daypack, 2 litres of water, gardening gloves, long trousers either jeans/khakis, long-sleeved shirt/blouse, wide-brimmed hat, sun glasses, insect repellent and an energy bar.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Game drive & boat safari along Kazinga channel 

After an early breakfast at 6.00am, your guide will take you on a game drive to the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park through the Kasenyi track in search for lions, hyenas, buffaloes, leopard, water buck, bush bucks, Uganda Kob plus many bird species including ibis, fish eagles and vultures etc. At about 10.00am you will head back to your lodge for relaxation and lunch. After lunch, at 3.00pm, you will embark on a boat cruise along the Kazinga channel – a major highlight of your safari. On the boat cruise, you will have the opportunity to view great numbers of wildlife including elephants, crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes and large numbers of birds like eagles, kingfishers, sparrows, doves, weaver birds, eaglets and sun birds converging at the channel waters to enjoy a sip of the natural waters. After the 3-hour boat cruise, you will then return to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Drive to Entebbe & Departure

After breakfast today, you commence your drive back to Entebbe. Travelling via Mbarara, you will have a chance to view the scenic valley at the rift valley escarpment. You will stop for lunch in Mbarara at the Igongo Cultural Centre & Museum or Agip Motel. After lunch you continue to Kampala and as you approach Kampala, you will make a stop-over at the Equator Crossing, where the imaginary line that divides the earth into two halves passes. Here you do fun photos, buy your Uganda safari souvenir and complete the drive to Entebbe where you will be dropped off in time for you to check-in for your onward flight home.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch

Includes:

  • Accommodation in Standard Rooms in safari lodges/camps and hotel facilities
  • On the ground transport in either a 5-seater Safari Mini-van with pop-up roofs for game viewing or a 4X4 Safari Land-cruiser
  • Game drives, excursions and sight-seeing activities (if any) as described above
  • Gorilla permits
  • Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Services of an English-speaking driver/tour guide
  • Bottled water whilst on safari (2 half-litre bottles per person per day)

Excludes:

  • Personal expenses such travel and medical insurance, excess baggage fee, communication charges that include, emails, faxes and phone calls beverages including water, soft drinks, luxury champagne, spirits or meals not included in the itinerary
  • Gratuity for porterage/ waiters at hotels, camps and airports
  • Gratuity for your professional driver guide
  • Cost of obtaining Visas ($50)
  • Any optional tours and excursions not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • International Airfare
*terms and conditions apply