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Africa’s Great Apes

Today you will be collected from the Nairobi City Centre by an Jungle Empire Africa representative and transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for the scheduled Kenya Airways flight from Nairobi, Kenya to Entebbe in Uganda.

You will be met at the Entebbe International Airport and transferred to the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel.

The Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe and is a mere 7-minute drive from the Airport on 27 acres of landscaped gardens with a 1 km beach frontage.

This 3* hotel has 185 rooms, 5 suites and one Presidential Suite, all furnished to the latest international standards. Rooms are classed as Deluxe (smallest), Club and Executive (Largest). All rooms are equipped with Baths and stand up showers, Direct dial telephones, Internet access, 24 hours satellite, T.V., In-room electronic safe, central air- conditioning and writing desks. 54 of the rooms have a minibar that is stocked on request.

The Hotel has 3 Restaurants: the 330-seater Victoria Coffee shop, the 150-seater Nouvelle Grill Room, and the Beach Garden Restaurant.

The swimming pool and the health club are located in the lower gardens next to the beach

Balance of the evening spent at leisure with dinner at the resort’s main restaurant.

Overnight Imperial Resort Beach Hotel

After breakfast, you will drive to Kibale Forest National Park

Kibale National Park is a primatologist’s dream. It is home to about 13 species of primates and about 335 species of birds. It hosts a population of more than 1,000 chimpanzees. One 80-strong community has been habituated to tourist visits. There are about half-a-dozen readily observed monkey species, including the acrobatic red colobus and black-and-white colobus and the handsome L’Hoest’s monkey.

In the afternoon we arrive at Mantana Tented Camp.

Mantana Tented Camp is a very basic and simple camp. It is however, ideally situated for the nights walks in Kibale.

Mantana Tented Camp

This morning we take a guided walk through this fascinating forest, following the well-marked trails.This 766-sq. km. tropical rain forest is the natural habitat for an amazing 12 primate species, and contains the highest primate density of any area on Earth. Here, on a guided forest walk, you may find families of Chimpanzees and Red Colobus Monkeys chattering and swinging through the ancient forest trees. Some of the trees are 50 to 60 meters (150 to 180 feet) in height and provide a majestic canopy for the profusion of rain forest life, including 325 bird species. Even though you may only rarely see them, the park is home to the largest population of Forest Elephant in Uganda, and is also home to Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Genet, Civet, Waterbuck and Bushbuck.

After lunch we visit a nearby forest swamp that is excellent for viewing more primates and other forest animals.

Mantana Tented Camp

After breakfast we enjoy another morning walk in the forest, and return to camp for lunch.

We then set out in a southerly direction for the Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Set in the western branch of the Great Rift Valley, the park is incredibly diverse in the type of terrain it encompasses. Prehistoric volcanic explosion craters now serve as huge amphitheatres across the floor of which troop herds of Elephant and Buffalo. Some of these craters have formed salt lakes in which Flamingo from as far away as Kenya are scattered like delicate pink dust. Wide-open plains support fair numbers of game, both prey and predator. The two large lakes that bound the park – Edward and George, together with the connecting Kazinga Channel are home to large numbers of Hippo, and numerous Crocodile.

This evening, we arrive at Mweya Lodge, dramatically located on a peninsula that juts out into Lake Edward and provides excellent views of the Kazinga Channel. We will enjoy our first game drive this evening.

Mweya Safari Lodge

After a dawn wake up call, we will go out on an early morning game viewing drive and enjoy coffee and tea out on the rolling plains of the park.

We then return to the lodge for a late breakfast. Thereafter, we prepare for our launch trip on the Kazinga Channel.

This water system hosts the highest concentration of Hippo in the world, and this excursion brings us up close to them. We will also see crocodile, buffalo, and other game that drink from the Channel, and experience the profusion of bird life that is supported here. We return in the late afternoon, and transfer to our lodge.

As dusk falls, we prepare for dinner and a good night’s rest.

Mweya Safari Lodge

Our adventure today necessitates a very early (and hearty!) breakfast this morning. We drive to the top of the Chambura Gorge, a deep natural ravine in the surrounding plains. We descend into the floor of the gorge, where a riverine forest very different from what we have so far seen awaits us.

The gorge is home to a number of bird and mammal species. We drive back to the lodge for lunch, followed by a late afternoon game drive. On the game drive, we may run into Waterbuck, Elephant, Giant Forest Hog, Bushbuck, Buffalo, or even Lion or Leopard. Then it’s back to our lodge for our usual evening wind-down.

Mweya Safari Lodge

Another early start for a bush walk through the Maramagambo Forest.

This is one of the largest forests in Uganda, and forms a habitat for a number of primates and forest dwellers. Due to its location, Maramagambo also has a high diversity of butterflies and birds. Our walk culminates in a visit to volcanic caves that are home to thousands of bats, and often, several reptile species.

Later, we travel further south to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This is a leisurely drive, taking most of the day. We climb out of the Rift Valley at first, and then travel through the Kigezi Highlands of South-Western Uganda. The scenery gets increasingly breathtaking as we switchback up and down the hills. 30 kilometers (18 miles) before the end of our journey, we see our objective – the mist-swathed mountains of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in south-western Uganda is home to roughly half of the world’s Mountain Gorillas making it world famous for Gorilla Tracking. The national park has 90 mammal species, including 11 primates of which the black-and-white colobus with its lovely flowing white tail, is prominent. The park also hosts Chimpanzee, Monkeys and other smaller antelope in addition to more than 20 species of bird and there is also Elephant. Bwindi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world.

Bwindi is 522 kms/10 hrs drive from Entebbe and Kampala and 1.5 hrs flight by light aircraft to the Kayonza airstrip which is 25 kms/40 minutes from the Gorilla Forest Camp.

On arrival, we are welcomed to the luxurious Gorilla Forest Camp with hot towels and a welcome drink.

Gorilla Forest Camp is a small luxury permanent tented camp in the heart of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is the only camp inside the park’s boundaries and therefore an ideal base for gorilla tracking, primate viewing and birding excursions in the park.

The camps only 8 en-suite tents are built upon wooden platforms. Tent amenities include two queen size beds, WC, basin and a bathtub looking out onto the forest and hot and cold running water. Each tent has a spacious wooden verandah where guests can relax and enjoy a private meal and absorb the mystery of the surrounding rainforest that provided the inspiration for the animation of Disney World’s The Jungle Book.

Other facilities include a bar, dining cottage and a raised platform for open air dining. In the night, around a traditional African campfire, a lecture might be given by a visiting primatologist, the gorilla tracking briefings undertaken or you may simply admire the myriad brilliance of Bwindi’s crystal clear mountain sky.

Whilst Gorilla Forest Camp welcomes children of all ages, please note that children below 15 yrs are not allowed on the Gorilla Tracking Excursions.

We retire to our enormous tents for a hot shower (or a hot bath if you prefer), and meet later around the campfire to recount the day’s activities. After dinner, we retire for the night, lulled to sleep by the sounds of one of Africa’s most incredible natural environments.

Gorilla Forest Camp

We spend the next two days on Gorilla Tracking Treks in the forest. The tracking may take anything from one to nine hours and these days may well be the most challenging and yet wonderfully exciting two days in Uganda.

The Bwindi Mountain Gorillas are part of a total worldwide population of just 600 individuals. The gorillas we are allowed to track belong to either one of two habituated family groups. For up to five years each, these groups have undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually brought them to tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day and allowed a few privileged visitors to interact with them in the wild.

The gorillas are by no means tame, and are completely wild animals. However, experienced guides will accompany us on our tracking, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas’ habits and information from the previous day to locate the group’s whereabouts.

Because of this, the time taken to track the gorillas varies enormously, from as little as half an hour to as much as 9 hours before we returns to camp. But an encounter, face to face with these gentle giants of the forest is well worth our efforts. Once the gorillas are located, our group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. This is one of the world’s most truly memorable experiences – a look into one of these magnificent creatures eyes brings home the bond that exists between them and us. It also brings home the poignant fact that they are on the edge of extinction, and that our presence here contributes to ensuring their continued survival.

The hour is often over all too quickly, and we slowly make our way back to camp to recount the day’s adventure.

Overnight Gorilla Forest Camp

After breakfast, we will drive to Lake Mburo National Park (6 to 7 hrs).

Lake Mburo National Park is centred on a series of swamp-fringed lakes known for their rich birdlife, notably the secretive African fin-foot. The green acacia woodland surrounding the lake harbours dense populations of zebra, warthog, buffalo, topi, impala and various other grazers, including the last surviving Ugandan population of eland, the largest of African antelope. Lake Mburo is actually the best place to see the eland.

The five lakes within the park attract hippos, crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds, while fringing swamps hide secretive papyrus specialists such as the sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek.

After stopping for lunch at Mbarara, we drive on to arrive at Lake Mburo Tented Camp in the mid afternoon. We enjoy an afternoon game viewing drive and a game walk before returning to camp for dinner

Lake Mburo Tented Camp

After a dawn wake up call, you go out on an early morning game viewing drive. You then return to camp for a late breakfast. After breakfast, we drive back to Entebbe and proceed to Imperial Resort Beach Hotel (4 hrs) Later, you will be transferred to Entebbe International airport for your scheduled flight to Kenya.

On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be met by an Jungle Empire Africa representative and transferred to the Nairobi City Centre. You will be dropped off in the Nairobi City Centre or at your directly booked hotel.

Above costs include

  • Full board accommodation on safari Bed & breakfast
  • Park entrance fees
  • Game viewing drives as shown
  • All transfers as shown
  • Porterage of 2 pieces of luggage per person
  • Government taxes and levies

Above costs exclude

  • International airfare
  • International airport departure taxes
  • All expenses of a personal nature such as all drinks, laundry, telephone calls,
  • Tips and gratuities for Driver/guide, hotel staff etc
  • Entry visa fees
  • Travel and medical insurance


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