This 5 days Gorilla trekking experience takes you to the misty Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, home to more than half the population of the World’s remaining Mountain Gorillas and former dwelling place for the Batwa, who lived in the famous forest as hunters and gatherers and were referred to as “the keepers of the forest”. This tour gives you a second chance close encounter with the gentle giants. You will also have a chance to visit the Batwa pygmy community who will tell you more about their history, culture and beliefs.
Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe
Day 2: Fly to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, optional activities
Day 3: 1st Gorilla trekking
Day 4: 2nd Gorilla trekking
Day 5: Fly from Bwindi Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to Entebbe and depart
Day 1:ARRIVAL ENTEBBE
Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda and after all the formalities, you shall be welcomed by our safari guide, who will then drive you to your hotel for an overnight. Depending on your time of arrival, you may choose between optional activities in Entebbe such as:
Visit to the Mabamba Swamp which is located west of Entebbe and is one of the most convenient palaces to see the elusive Shoebill. The bird is easiest seen in the morning when they stalk their main prey, the mudfish or frogs, but may be spotted all day. You will take a small canoe through the papyrus reeds that opens up into flat grassy wetlands where a number of Shoebill can regularly be seen.
Half day visit to Ngamba Island:
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established in October 1998 to care for orphaned chimpanzees that have been rescued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Many of the chimpanzees were rescued from poachers and are unlikely to survive reintroduction to the wild. You will receive a personal orientation by a chimpanzee caregiver and view the feeding of the chimpanzees from the visitors’ raised platform area along the edge of the sanctuary fence.
Day 2:FLY TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
After an early morning breakfast, you will be transferred to the Airport and then fly to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Upon arrival at the Airstrip, you will meet with your guide and then transfer to your lodge. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - home to the endangered mountain gorillas lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda's oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 400 mountain Gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked. There are 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift endemic bird species including Blue-throated Broadbill, bar-tailed Trogon and other beautiful forest species. Once you have settled in, you may choose to go for some optional activities such as:
Visit to the Batwa pygmy community - Bwindi forest was also home to the Batwa pygmies. These indigenous people were the original dwellers of the ancient forest and were known as the ‘keepers of the forest’. The Batwa lived in harmony with the forest and survived by hunting small game using bows and arrows and gathering plants for both food and medicinal purposes.
Take a walk to the nearby local communities, interact with them as they get to share with you their cultural experiences, traditions and way of life
Retire to the lodge for an overnight as you will require enough rest for the following day’s activity.
Day 3: 1ST GORILLA TREKKING
After an early morning breakfast, you will transfer to the park headquarters and meet with excellent local ranger guides and trackers who will brief you about the etiquette of gorilla trekking. Thereafter head off to the forest for Gorilla trekking in the company of an experienced ranger who will tell you interesting facts about flora and fauna and the lifestyle of the Gorillas. Trekking the Mountain Gorilla is one of the most exciting wildlife experiences, although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery makes the trekking worthwhile. The trek will take between 2 and 6 hours, but is well worth the effort. As an alternative to gorilla trekking, you could choose to take a guided forest walk in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A forest walk in Bwindi rewards the travelers with an exclusive feeling of a natural virgin forest, sweet melodies of birds singing up in the trees as well a close encounter with wild animals such as baboons, vervet monkeys, L’Hoest’s Guenon, duickers, giant forest hogs and bush pigs among others.
Day 4: 2nd SECOND GORILLA TREKKING EXPERIENCE
After an early morning breakfast, you will go for a second trekking of the gentle giants. You will trek a different family on this day led by an experienced ranger guide who will provide inspiring details on the gorilla families, habits and you will also have a chance to spend some more time watching the Gorillas as you get to see the young ones play from vines in a pleasurably playful display and the adults feeding their young ones, brushing and resting. A second Gorilla trek gives you more insight on the Gorilla as you get to explore more about their behavior and also gives you a second chance with the gentle giants. Along the way, the ranger guide will also show you a number of plants that the Gorilla feed on and how they track their movements every day.
Day 5:FLY BACK TO ENTEBBE AND DEPART
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Airstrip and then fly back to Entebbe. Along the way, you will enjoy the beautiful aerial view of south western Uganda, the hills and thick vegetation as well the terraces. Later on, you will arrive at the Airport and take your flight back home.