Uganda Culture and Gorilla Safari | 8 Days
This 8 days wildlife, gorillas and cultural safari is designed to take you visit, live and experience life with the people forming the various ethnicities of central Uganda, southern Uganda, western Uganda and south western Uganda. It is intended that you conduct game viewing, gorilla trekking while experiencing the life that the people in the local communities of the aforementioned areas live.
It is desired that you get opportunity to ˝live differently in an African way˝ for the few days you will spend in Uganda. We believe your time on this safari will create beautiful lasting memories.
Highlights of this safari
- Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Wildlife game viewing in Lake Mburo National Park
- Batwa cultural trail
- Bahima cultural experience
- Enroute visit to the Equator line, Mpambire and Igongo cultural Centre
Day 1 — Arrival and transfer to the hotel for safari preparation
Upon arrival, you will be warmly received by the company representatives who will transfer you to the hotel for relaxation/overnight stay. Our company representative will also brief you about the travel plan and the entire safari.
Day 2 — Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with enroute stopovers at Mpambire, Equator crossing line and Mbarara town
You will embark on this expedition by driving southwards of Uganda with Bwindi Impenetrable forest as your target destination. However, since culture and social interaction with the locals is central to this safari, you will make occasional stopovers in various spots/towns to experience more about the various cultures of the people living within these areas.
a) Your first enroute stop will be at Mpambire which is about 43 kilometers from Uganda’s capital-Kampala. Mpambire is famously known as a drum making Centre. Drums are central to Buganda culture and other ethnic groups of Uganda. You will learn more about the history of drums, types of drums and the various functions of drums in Buganda and other ethnic groups of Uganda.
b) The Equator crossing line at Kayabwe. This physical marking on the ground of the imaginary line of the equator can be found in a few spots of the world. Uganda is blessed to be among them. Your safari to Bwindi will therefore give you an opportunity to stand in the Northern Hemisphere and also cross to the Southern Hemisphere. Photographs taken at this spot will greatly enrich your photo gallery. You may also buy souvenirs and as well conduct experiments about the Equator with the natives of the area.
c) Mbarara town and Igongo cultural Centre. Mbarara is generally inhabited by people of Ankole culture. Our company guide will make time to take you to the Igongo cultural Centre where you will learn more about the culture and traditions of the people of south and western Uganda. Be keen as well to look out for the Ankole cows and the traditional homesteads as you travel. More of the Ankole culture will be done on day 6 when you will visit a selected homestead of the Bahima people that form one of the several ethnicities of Ankole region.
Day 3 — Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Gorilla trekking is one of the major safari activities done by tourists in Uganda. This activity is included to give you an opportunity to meet these tranquil mammals that are endemic to the Virunga ranges of Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda as well as Bwindi Impenetrable Forest of Uganda. Travelling to Uganda becomes a great experience when you get opportunity to trek these primates and understand more about them.
Early morning, you will go for gorilla trekking. This amazing activity takes you through the densely forested steep hills until you finally meet these tranquil gorillas within the green plant cover. It is such a wonderful yet memorable encounter.
While entering the forest, you will first walk on a handmade trail but then you will veer off to follow tracks left by forest elephants. The canopy will envelop you completely with rare and exotic flora found on every side. This is a challenging trek since it involves hiking through steep ascents and tangled trails.
Gorilla trekking groups are assigned on fitness levels, so you can request a shorter or longer hike depending on your preferences. For many, the chance to travel in such exotic forest makes a longer hike worthwhile with some troops four hours away from the trailhead. Others might prefer to meet the troop (gorilla) closest to the trailhead.
Once gorillas are identified, you will be allowed a maximum time of one hour within their vicinity and then after walk out of the dense forest. Your time with the gorillas will certainly create a long lasting memory about your visit to Uganda.
Day 4 — The Batwa Cultural Trail around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
This day is included in this expedition to enable you interact with one of the last groups of short statured people commonly referred to as pygmies people who initially forest dwellers but were relocated out of the forests for conservation purposes. The Batwa live a primitive lifestyle but cherish their culture and history to the extent that even to date, they still live in dwellings of huts made out of leaves and tree branches. Others continue to use animal skins and hides to dress
themselves. They continue to live as wanderers, surviving on meat and forest fruits.
Despite the apparent negative perceptions and social exclusion of the Batwa people, they have continued to enjoy their ways of life and they seem not to be bothered by such negativity. Your time with them will be a moment to reflect about life.
After this wonderful expedition, you be transferred to Lake Bunyonyi.
Day 5 — Exploration of Lake Bunyonyi and transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
Day 5 allows you to have moments of relaxation at Lake Bunyonyi after the thrilling and awesome exercise of gorilla trekking. You will take a boat ride or even go canoeing or swimming.
While enjoying a ride and tour around the islands on this lake, you will learn more about the different islands with their rich and sometimes fraught history. Your guide will share stories of times when the islands were used to quarantine people suffering from diseases or otherwise cast from the local community.
After the boat ride, you will embark on the journey to Lake Mburo and along the way; you will enjoy the beautiful scenery of the rolling hills in the countryside of Kabale and Ankole regions.
Day 6 — Traditional Homestead Experiences
Early morning, you will join one of the homesteads situated around the environs of the park to experience the daily life activities of the local people. The Lake Mburo environs are inhabited by the Bahima who are traditionally pastoralists.
You will join the herdsman to experience the milking activity of the long horned Ankole cows. Milking is done before the cows set off for the day. After this experience of milking and learning how to make ghee, you will return to the lodge for late breakfast and relax.
This park provides the best chance of viewing a deep red sunset silhouetting the thorny acacia shrub along the extensive marshy area. This amazing natural occurrence is worthy being experienced.
Day 7 — Morning game drive and Afternoon boat cruise
In the morning, you will take a bush game drive where you will see several animals such as Zebras, Impala herds, Giraffes, Warthogs, water bucks, Topis among others.
Lake Mburo national park also boasts of around 350 bird species which have been recorded to date. These include among others, the Red-faced Barbet only seen in Lake Mburo, the endemic African Finfoot and the rare Shoebill. Other key species are the Papyrus Yellow Warbler, Saddle-billed Stork, Brown-chested Lapwing, African-wattled Lapwing, Carruther’s Cisticola, Tabora (Long-tailed) Cisticola, African Scops Owl, Abyssinian Ground Hornbill and White-winged Warbler.
In the afternoon, you will go for a boat cruise and enjoy the sighting of aquatic animals like hippos, crocodiles as well as buffaloes. Some bird species can also be sighted along the shores .These may include, African fish Eagle, Goliath Heron, Black crowned night Heron, African Finfoot, Shining blue kingfisher among others.
Day 8 — Transfer to Entebbe International Airport
This 8th day that concludes your safari is entirely for traveling to Entebbe
International Airport for your departure flight.
- Gorilla permit
- Ground transport
- Community experiences
- Park entrance fees
- Game drive
- Vehicle entrance
- Boat & Canoe trips
- Bottled water in the safari vehicle
- Accommodation as per the itinerary
- Boat cruise
- Services of an English-speaking guide
- All mentioned activities except for the optional ones
- All extras at the accommodation such as beverages, telephone and laundry
- Tips to guide and porters
- Flight ticket
Price — US $1,050 per person (For two people)
The price slightly increases if you decide to travel as a solo traveler. Conversely, the price payable per person reduces from the stated amount if the tour is booked by more than two people.