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The Kusini Collection

Mid-range Uganda Safari

Day 01: Arrive at Entebbe International Airport, meet and greet and transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Karibu Guesthouse (accommodation booked on bed and breakfast basis).

Located in Entebbe, gateway to Uganda, the 99-room Lake Victoria Hotel is set within beautiful grounds, adjacent to the golf course. Built in 1945, the hotel is of the old colonial style with manicured gardens, a shady veranda and breezy upstairs terrace offering a good view of Lake Victoria across the golf course. The hotel has recently been renovated to a high standard; the work was completed in 2008. All rooms have satellite television, air conditioning or fan and an en suite bathroom. The hotel’s a la carte menu offers European, Indian and Chinese cuisine in the upstairs Equator Restaurant or the ground floor Palm terrace and a snack menu is also available. Hotel amenities include a swimming pool, gym and health club, two conference rooms and small shopping arcade. 

Day 02: Drive to Kibale Forest area, the drive is a full day of approximately seven hours. After leaving the Lake Victoria Basin pass through beautiful agricultural countryside where every type of fruit and vegetable imaginable is grown. Upon reaching Kyanjojo, in the lower foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains {Mountains of the Moon}, we drive through beautiful tea plantations and into Kibale tropical rain forest. Overnight at Primate Lodge (BLD)

Primate Lodge is situated in Kibale Forest National Park and is the perfect gateway for tracking the primates of Uganda. The lodge is committed to the conservation of nature and culture and is constructed using local materials and makes use of solar power electricity in order to minimize the impact on the environment. Primate Lodge features 8 luxury safari tents and 7 cottages. All the rooms are privately situated within the forest, making it an ideal place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you. The luxury tents are on a raised wooden platform and covered by a grass thatched roof, blending perfectly with the natural environment. The interior is tastefully decorated in African style, with queen sized beds, brightly coloured bed spreads and large windows to take in the forests. The en suite bathrooms are furnished with a natural touch of stone and bamboo.

Day 03: Today we get the opportunity to explore Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale Forest is home to 13 primate species and a guided forest trek can be taken in search of one of the most popular primate species in the world – the chimpanzee. There are 9 diurnal primates, these include, vervet, red-tailed, L’Hoest’s, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked manabey, red colobus, black and white colobus, olive baboon and the most famous of all, the chimpanzee. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds are good with the chance of encountering them standing at higher then 90%. This morning you will go on a forest walk in search of primates. Whilst trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be surrounded by bird song and can expect to see at least 5 or 6 other types of primate, most probably the grey-cheeked managebey and the red-tailed monkey and of course the chimpanzee. The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. You will get another chance to trek the chimpanzees in the afternoon, allowing for observation of the chimpanzees during a different section of their daily lives.

Overnight at Primate Lodge (BLD)

Day 04: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The drive passes through Fort Portal and then south along the eastern length of The Rwenzori Mountains, with the hope of viewing the glaciated peaks. We gently descend into The Great African Rift Valley and Queen Elizabeth National Park and Mweya Lodge, situated on a peninsula overlooking Lake Edward and Kasinga Channel, offering beautiful views of the park with the Rwenzori Mountains in the background. Queen Elizabeth National Park resides in a fertile, equatorial area and has beautiful scenery. It is Uganda’s most popular and accessible savannah reserve, with a total area of 1978km˛. It is primarily associated with grassy savannah plains, but this impressive park also includes within its boundaries, leafy rainforests, dense papyrus swamps and natural volcanic crater lakes. As a result it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world, including a total of 95 recorded mammal species and more then 610 species of birds. In the afternoon, we will explore the park and its wonders on a game drive.

****Alternatively we could have a swamp walk in Bigodi Community and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park in the afternoon. Bigodi village is situated in the highlands of western Uganda, in the shadow of the Ruwenzori Mountains, the famous "Mountains of the Moon". The swamp walk takes place in the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary, which is located in the Magombe wetland. The sanctuary is a major eco-tourism attraction in the Kibale Forest area. The Sanctuary is operated by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED), a registered local community based organization. Overnight at Kyambura Game Lodge (BLD)

Kyambura Game Lodge is a new luxury lodge situated on the eastern edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park with stunning views over the park and Kyambura Gorge. The lodge has been built using environmentally friendly local materials. Accommodation is provided in 8 spacious and tastefully decorated self-contained grass-thatched cottages, with bath tubs/showers with views to the park, running hot and cold water and equipped with 220v electricity. Each cottage is privately located and has a lovely wooden balcony from which the diversity of wildlife in the park can be viewed and enjoyed. The lodge also has a beautiful swimming pool and camp fire around which local traditional dancers will entertain you as you relax after the day’s activities. The restaurant and lounge area open towards a sundowner deck overlooking the park - the perfect place to enjoy the sunset with the drink of your choice. The kitchen features both international and local cuisine and meals are prepared using organic vegetables from our own gardens and served by friendly and professionally trained staff. From the lodge you can immerse yourself in wildlife, with game viewing from your private balcony or by going on a bird walk from the lodge down into the valley. There are also community walks and walks around the crater lakes available from the lodge.

Day 05: Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park including a private boat trip of about two hours on the Kazinga Channel to view some of the largest concentration of hippo in the world {reported to be about 30,000} and other game with excellent birding. Queen Elizabeth National Par is one of best birding parks in Africa, with 560 + recorded species and a record of 296 bird species seen in one 24 hour period. Overnight at Kyambura Game Lodge (BLD)

Day 06: Today we drive through the park to the Ishasha region. Game drive in search of tree climbing lion (75% success rate) and other game. Afternoon drive to Bwindi Impenetrable (a World Heritage Sight) passing through the scenic area known as The Switzerland of East Africa. The driving today is about 5 1/2 hours (not including game drives). Overnight Mahogany Springs Lodge (BLD)

Mahogany Springs Lodge is a new luxury lodge in the Buhoma, Northern side of Bwindi. Mahogany Springs is located on its own private section of the Munyanga River and the gorillas can regularly be viewed from the terraces crossing the river outside the lodge. Mahogany Springs offers privacy and serenity blended with optimal comfort in a spectacular setting. At Mahogany Springs it is the little touches that make the big difference, from the tiny details in the design of the lodge through to the unrivalled service levels provided by the highly trained management team. The lodge has 6 luxury and spacious suites, all with 2 double beds and en-suite facilities. Each cottage has its own private elevated terrace with chairs, table and stunning panoramic views.The suites are spacious with large double doors and beautiful windows. There are power points in the rooms as well as a dressing table/desk. All suites have large en-suite bathrooms with a gorgeously designed open terracotta shower. For added comfort and peace of mind all the suites have an advanced mosquito net system that wraps around the entire area of the beds.

Day 07: Gorilla tracking day. After breakfast take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. We then hike into the forest where the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point. The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the Hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. Cameras and plenty of fast speed film is recommended. It can rain at a few minutes notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including zip lock bags for cameras and film. N.B. We cannot guarantee seeing Gorillas. Overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge (BLD)

Day 08: Second day gorilla trekking OR Batwa Cultural Experience. Bwindi Forest is home to a fantastic diversity of flora and fauna, including some exotic plants and rare and endangered animals. The forest is also home to the Batwa pygmies. These 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. In 1992 the lives of the Batwa changed forever, when the forest became a national park and world heritage site in order to protect the endangered mountain gorillas that reside within its boundaries. The Batwa were evicted from the park and became conservation refugees in a world that was very unfamiliar to them. Their skills and means of subsistence were not useful in this modern environment and they began to suffer.

In 2001, when the Batwa tribe was on the edge of extinction American medical missionaries, Dr Scott and Carol Kellermann came to their rescue. They purchased land and established programs to improve the conditions and lives of the Batwa. This included the building of a school, hospital and housing. The Kellermanns also developed water and sanitation projects and found ways that the Batwa could generate income and sustain themselves. These projects are now managed and operated by the Batwa Development Program (BDP). BDP works closely with the Batwa community to try to ensure that their indigenous rights are respected and they also benefit from the forest being a national park and tourist attraction.

The Batwa Cultural Experience was created by the displaced Batwa pygmies with the help of BDP to educate their children and to share their amazing heritage and traditions with the world. A day spent with the Batwa gives you the opportunity to enjoy the following:

  • Hike through the forest with the people of the forest. You will have a Batwa guide and he will provide you with the chance to see the forest and its habitants through his eyes.
  • See how they lived and hunted in the traditional manner. Enjoy trying out your hunting techniques as the Batwa teach you how to shoot with a bow and arrow.
  • Visit a traditional Batwa homestead and learn from the women how to prepare, cook and serve a meal. You will also have the opportunity to sample the dishes.
  • Talk to a medicine man and learn about the medicinal properties of the forest flora.
  • Hear ancient legends and traditional songs.


Overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge (BLD)

Day 09: Drive to Mbarara passing through the Switzerland of East Africa area and eventually into Ankole Cattle country around Mbarara. These cattle are incredible with horns larger than one can imagine. Continue to Lake Mburo National Park, game drive. The drive today is 6 to 7 hours. Lake Mburo National Park is a small park, excellent for birding, antelope and other grazers, one of the only places to easily see Impala and zebra in Uganda. Game drives offer particularly picturesque game viewing with the Park's mixture of savannah, acacia woodlands, grassy valleys, rocky outcrops, swamps, lakes and rolling hills. Herds of impala (found nowhere else in Uganda), buffalo and zebra, plus waterbuck and eland are amongst the variety of wildlife to be seen. Birders will enjoy the Park's 310 recorded water and dry land species. In this valley we can operate night drives and walks. This is the only park where we will see Impala and Burchell's Zebra. It is an excellent place for walking and exploring a nearby Khopji to perhaps see Klipspringer. Game drive to the lodge. Overnight at Mihingo Lodge (BLD)

Mihingo Lodge is a peaceful and exclusive retreat adjacent to Lake Mburo National Park. There are 10 private and comfortable tents on wooden platforms under thatch roofs, all with en suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water, showers and flushing toilets. The main dining area is a large thatched structure built of rocks, the wood of dead weathered olive trees found on the land and native grasses. Below the dining area, an infinity swimming pool stretches out from the rocks and seems to disappear into the vast landscape beyond. From the dining and pool area, guests can enjoy the view of a westward oriented valley and its stunning evening sunsets over Lake Mburo National Park.

Day 10: This morning we drive back to Entebbe, this takes approximately 5 hours – road and weather dependent. If time permits it is possible to stop in Kampala for shopping and lunch and a visit to the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers. You are then transferred to Entebbe International airport to connect with your departure flight. Please note the departure flight must be in the late afternoon or evening, alternatively we can arrange another overnight in Entebbe.

Prices:

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All of our safaris include:

  • Airport transfers
  • Meet and Greet upon arrival
  • Departure services
  • Additional guides as needed
  • Comfortable, modern, 4X4 vehicles, customized for maximum viewing with open roof hatches. These are usually Toyota Land Cruisers, or comparable vehicles
  • Professional, experienced drivers, and guides who are knowledgeable in all aspects of Uganda and Rwanda Safaris
  • All accommodations and meals as stated in your chosen itinerary
  • All excursions as stated in your chosen itinerary, which includes all park fees and taxes
  • Emergency International communications available
  • Books available in the vehicles to help identify the flora and fauna
  • Umbrellas, bean bags and blankets in the vehicles
  • Courtesy bag which includes tea, coffee, biscuits, and paper napkins
  • Coolers in our vehicles
  • Bottled water in vehicles ONLY

What is NOT included in our safaris:

  • Insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Beverages (however, bottled water is included in the vehicles only)
  • Items of personal nature