The Wildiaries Experience
Uganda Gorillas - Group Discovery Tour
On this all-inclusive luxury tour you will have up-close encounters with wild Mountain Gorillas. The surrounding country is also one of our guide's favourite places in the world. It is particularly rich in locally-unique and attractive mammals and birds. This tour is specially designed to ensure you get the maximum from your once-in-a-lifetime excursion to this remote but incredible destination.
HOW IS THIS TOUR DIFFERENT?
For most people, seeing wild Gorillas is a once in a life-time experience but for your Australian guide, Phil Gregory, it would be his seventh time taking guests over fifteen years. You'll be joined by Phil's chosen Ugandan guides and friends, whose are local wildlife knowledge is unsurpassed and world-renowed and they among the most experienced, talented and personable naturalists in Africa. With their help, you will see things you couldn't possibly hope to see with other tour groups.
There are cheap ways of seeing Gorillas but in our experience, the standard of guiding can be either very good or extremely poor. Large groups will be split up, as it's not permitted to trek to see Gorillas in groups of more than six people. Further, buses are not permitted in the park.
This particular 11-day tour is comfortable and delivered to a high standard. All costs including all meals, transport, activities and guiding, will be included. You will be staying at some of the nicest accommodation in the region and your transport will be in comfortable 4WD standard vehicles with a driver and your guides.
It begins and ends in Entebbe (Uganda) so you can see wild Gorillas as well as experience the full range of wildlife and culture of the Entebbe region.
Day 1 Arrive Entebbe and transfer to hotel. Meet with guide for welcoming dinner and a briefing about the tour. Overnight at The Boma
Day 2 Mabamba Swamp. Weʼll begin today with a visit to the nearby Mabamba Swamp, where we will be looking for the bizarre Shoebill. A bird which looks as if it should never get airborne if you look at the size of its bill. Be prepared for a couple of hours of rough driving to get to the best area We then take to the water in little canoe-like boats and float through the marsh looking not only for Shoebill but also many of the following species: Long-tailed Cormorant, Hamerkop, African Openbill, Marabou Stork, African Pied Hornbill, Scarlet-chested and Red-chested sunbirds, Rueppell's Glossy-Starling and the very localized Orange Weaver.
Later head over to Mburo. We leave the Lake Victoria basin and drive through farmland where we can see the amazing Ankole cattle with their enormous sweeping horns. We travel on to Lake Mburo, where we expect to arrive in the late afternoon. With luck we may see Pennant-winged Nightjars hawking over our tents at dusk.
Night at Mantana Tented Camp in Lake Mburo NP.
Day 3 Lake Mburo National Park. This delightful small park contains rolling scrub-covered hills, open dry areas, pockets of woodland, papyrus beds, marshy lake fringes, and open water. It is the only area where we can see Burchellʼs Zebra and Impala, and we should also find good numbers of Oribi, Olive Baboon, and Vervet Monkey.
A variety of new and interesting birds occurs within this park and we hope for birds like White-backed Night-Heron and African Finfoot (during a short boat trip), Lizard Buzzard, African Goshawk, Lilac-breasted Roller and Red-faced Barbet (at its only Ugandan site). One of the charms of Africa is its colourful and diverse array of birds and you will be travelling with one of the world's experts, who will also give you the chance to see animals such as hippopotamus, impala, tsessebe eland, warthogs, buffalo, jackals and if very lucky leopards.
Night at Mantana Tented Camp in Lake Mburo NP.
Day 4 To Ruhija Today we travel through areas of cultivation and then climb up onto the edges of the Albertine Rift into the bamboo zone and the higher altitude forest. There is some very attractive scenery and an amazing contrast between the cultivation and the edge of the National Park. Night at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge.
Day 5 Many different species are found at these higher altitudes, including quite a few of the Albertine Rift endemics. We'll have a full day-and-a-half to search for birds and wildlife in this area. The moderately strenuous but beautiful trail to the Mubwindi Swamp will be optional; for those not wishing to take this walk, we will make arrangements for them to be accompanied by a local guide in the fabulous forest near our lodge where birds such as Regal Sunbird are foujnd. Night at Ruhija Gorilla Lodge.
Day 6 The Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest. A relatively short drive this morning with many stops along the way down to the Gorilla Forest Camp. This is a small, permanent tented camp inside the beautiful Bwindi-Impenetrable Forest. We'll have two nights here and we will spend our time exploring by walking the forest trails, and for those who wish, trekking for Mountain Gorillas. Around nine groups of habituated Gorillas are accessible to visitors in the whole area and by prior arrangement, we will have an opportunity to visit these magnificent creatures. However, please note that only a limited number of visitors are allowed to see them on any one day, so visits must be booked well in advance. Each morning members of our group will be able to take part in a Gorilla trek, while the remainder of the group will go birding in the nearby forest.
Night at Gorilla Forest Camp.
Day 7 Gorilla trek day. A highlight of the tour. Night at Gorilla Forest Camp.
Day 8 Fly back to Entebbe on the morning flight and connect with onward flights.
Ask for Details
Or call Diverse Travel now
on 08 8234 8324 (Australia)
or +61 8 8234 8324 (if overseas)
The tour will run in late May / early June 2018. Dates will be confirmed once we have expressions of interest from a minimum number of guests and will be subject to flight schedules and park entry group availability.
The itinerary above is with top-level accommodation, including some of the best premium lodges in the area, including the Boma Hotel, the Montana Tented Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Lodge and the Gorilla Forest Camp.
- Airport transfer fees.
- All ground transportation in a 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser with roof-hatches.
- Meals from breakfast on day 2 to lunch on day 10.
- Accommodation in standard twin rooms throughout the tour.
- All entrance fees to national parks, sanctuaries, game reserves and the botanical gardens as described in the final itinerary.
- Fuel for the entire trip.
- Boat ride fees at Mabamba swamps, Lake Mburo.
- 18% VAT on all taxable services like accommodation.
- Bottled drinking water, tea or coffee while on tour and in transit.
- Services of an English speaking driver/guide.
- Professional guides and leader 24/7.
- Tips and gratitude to your guide/driver/hotel staff etc
The tour will run in late May / early June 2017. Dates will be confirmed once we have expressions of interest from a minimum number of guests and will be subject to flight schedules and park entry group availability.
This tour is on request. Please ENQUIRE using the form (above).
Prices cannot be confirmed until later in the season, when 2017/2018 rates are available.
The price of this all-inclusive trip would be in the vicinity of US$700-800 per day per person, excluding international flights and park fees. Note, at present, Gorilla trekking permits have not been increased, so they would be $US600 on top of this trip price - there is a strict quota on entry to the park however, and this could change before we travel. When checking other options, remember to factor in meals, tips, internal transport (including fuel costs, if hiring).
Note, the tour is ex Entebbe.
- We will ask you for a $500 initial deposit to reserve a spot on any tour.
- If we don't reach our minimum numbers for the tour, we will refund this.
- Otherwise, this is non-refundable, but up to 6 months prior to travel, can be transferred onto any other Wildiaries tour.
- Once a tour has reached minimum numbers, we will ask you to pay a 20% non-refundable deposit with the balance of payment due at least 60 days prior to travel (or sooner, depending on the supplier's terms and conditions).
Our licensed travel agent can arrange all travel to and from tour locations. We can also arrange fully-guided options as well as tailoring packages for families and groups travelling together.