Unique Uganda, Gorillas, Chimpanzees and the Big 5!

Unique Uganda, Gorillas, Chimpanzees and the Big 5!
  • £3950.00 /person
  • Deposit: £500.00
  • Location: Uganda
  • Dates:
    • 18 February - 6 March 2019 TOUR ONE FULLY BOOKED
    • 5 - 21 March 2019 TOUR TWO JUST 2 PLACES REMAINING
  • Duration: 17 days
  • Leader: Peter Hogel and Janette Hill
  • Group Size: Minimum 4, Maximum 6
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Overview

Come to Uganda for the experience of a lifetime!

This tour provides the opportunity for you to see the Big 5, Chimpanzees and Gorillas in the same trip.   In addition to mammals and primates listed above Uganda has the largest recorded number of bird species of any country.  You will have an experience of a lifetime visiting Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where endangered rhinos are protected, Murchison Falls National Park where you will enjoy a river cruise on the Nile in addition to safaris, Kibale National Park for Chimpanzee tracking, Queen Elizabeth National Park for Lion tracking and a Boat Cruise in the Kazinga Channel (the wildlife sightings from the boat are just amazing), Ishasha Plains to see tree-climbing lions and finally, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for Mountain Gorilla Trekking.

This is what our clients say:

“If you are thinking of going to Uganda, you must.  I have recently returned from Janette’s tour not really knowing what to expect (apart from hoping to find gorillas of course). It was totally different to my usual ‘safari’ in that we only had a couple sightings of lions and no leopards BUT we found a wonderful group of gorillas ranging from a huge silverback (who walked within 18 inches of me) to tiny babies learning how to climb trees. There is a vast array of wildlife, including rhino, hippo, elephant, giraffe, chimpanzees and other primates, lots of birdlife (including Shoebills!) and so the list goes on.  We had wonderful trips on the rivers both during the day and at sunset.  Although Uganda is a fairly basic country, it is a beautiful one, with lakes, mountains and rivers and the scenery blew me away.  I would say this was a real adventure with some long drives (well worthwhile).  I would add that if you are worried about trekking for the gorillas, I am 69, have a replacement hip and knee and still managed – so don’t let anything hold you back. I am definitely hoping to go again. I have travelled with Janette before but it was my first time meeting Peter – I can only say we had a real laugh and would like to thank “Ellie” and “Chicken” for some of it!!”

“I have just got back from Uganda  having had the most wonderful  9 days with Janette.  The highlight of the trip was obviously the gorillas. We were in a small group and were lucky to find a family of gorillas with 2 very small babies. Everyone took some amazing pictures with some special guidance from Janette.   We went on several day and evening safaris and a boat trip where we saw so many different animals and birds.   These included lions, leopards, hippos, giraffe, zebra, warthogs, crocodiles and a vast selection of antelope.    Janette had arranged everything to run very smoothly and safely and with her great sense of humour and expertise we all had a wonderful time and came back with literally hundreds of great photos.   I would highly recommend this trip with Janette to everyone.   Thank you to everyone involved in this trip of a lifetime.”

“Our trip to Uganda with Janette & Peter Hogel was a real adventure that I would highly recommend!  Lots of driving on unmade roads gave the opportunity to observe the ‘real’ Uganda.   The sightings on the game drives in Queen Elizabeth park were superb – tracking the lion prides & being informed on the families, spotting a leopard camouflaged in a tree, watching the elephants walking down to the river, seeing hippos out of the water grazing during the day,  being surrounded by warthogs & marabou storks whilst eating breakfast, observing the birds & wildlife from a boat  & a bush dinner were just some of the highlights in this park.

Next stop was Bwindi forest, staying in a tent with an outdoor shower room! The short 45 minute  trek to see the gorilla family certainly lived up to expectations – an hour standing about 10 feet away watching the family interact together, in between the females & youngsters with the silverback sleeping up on a ridge just above us.  Also an opportunity to walk into the local village to understand how the local people live & their enthusiasm for protecting the gorillas & the tourism that enables them to support their families.

Final stop Lake Mburo with tented accommodation high on a ridge overlooking the park & the local villages – awesome views. Sightings of giraffe, zebra, numerous antelope species & a honey badger.

Whilst the trip was not for the faint hearted – lots of driving, lots of  bumpy unmade roads, basic accommodation (although always clean & well presented) & basic food – the beer is good –  the experience was brilliant. I would recommend travelling with Natural Wonders to really ‘get under the skin’ of Uganda”

“Many thanks for a great trip”

“Thanks for a great holiday.  Hopefully I will be able to come on another of your trips in the not too distant future”

“A very full and interesting trip with excellent guidance by Janette and Peter”

 

 

 

Client Testimonials

What You'll Learn

  • About Uganda's way of life, Customs and Culture
  • About Chimpanzees
  • About Gorillas
  • Various different photographic techniques
  • When to use Aperture Priority
  • When to use Shutter Priority
  • About ISOs
  • About Histograms and why you should check them frequently
  • Information about the flora and fauna of Uganda

Gallery

Client Testimonials

  • Chris

    “If you are thinking of going to Uganda, you must.  I have recently returned from Janette’s tour not really knowing what to expect (apart from hoping to find gorillas of course). It was totally different to my usual ‘safari’ in that we only had a couple sightings of lions and no leopards BUT we found a wonderful group of gorillas ranging from a huge silverback (who walked within 18 inches of me) to tiny babies learning how to climb trees. There is a vast array of wildlife, including rhino, hippo, elephant, giraffe, chimpanzees and other primates, lots of birdlife (including Shoebills!) and so the list goes on.  We had wonderful trips on the rivers both during the day and at sunset.  Although Uganda is a fairly basic country, it is a beautiful one, with lakes, mountains and rivers and the scenery blew me away.  I would say this was a real adventure with some long drives (well worthwhile).  I would add that if you are worried about trekking for the gorillas, I am 69, have a replacement hip and knee and still managed – so don’t let anything hold you back. I am definitely hoping to go again. I have travelled with Janette before but it was my first time meeting Peter – I can only say we had a real laugh and would like to thank “Ellie” and “Chicken” for some of it!!”

  • Sarah

    “Our trip to Uganda with Janette & Peter Hogel was a real adventure that I would highly recommend!  Lots of driving on unmade roads gave the opportunity to observe the ‘real’ Uganda.  The sightings on the game drives in Queen Elizabeth park were superb – tracking the lion prides & being informed on the families, spotting a leopard camouflaged in a tree, watching the elephants walking down to the river, seeing hippos out of the water grazing during the day,  being surrounded by warthogs & marabou storks whilst eating breakfast, observing the birds & wildlife from a boat  & a bush dinner were just some of the highlights in this park.

    Next stop was Bwindi forest, staying in a tent with an outdoor shower room! The short 45 minute  trek to see the gorilla family certainly lived up to expectations – an hour standing about 10 feet away watching the family interact together, in between the females & youngsters with the silverback sleeping up on a ridge just above us.   Also an opportunity to walk into the local village to understand how the local people live & their enthusiasm for protecting the gorillas & the tourism that enables them to support their families.

    Final stop Lake Mburo with tented accommodation high on a ridge overlooking the park & the local villages – awesome views. Sightings of giraffe, zebra, numerous antelope species & a honey badger.

    Whilst the trip was not for the faint hearted – lots of driving, lots of  bumpy unmade roads, basic accommodation (although always clean & well presented) & basic food – the beer is good –  the experience was brilliant. I would recommend travelling with Natural Wonders to really ‘get under the skin’ of Uganda”

     

  • Jennie

    “I have just got back from Uganda  having had the most wonderful  9 days with Janette.  The highlight of the trip was obviously the gorillas. We were in a small group and were lucky to find a family of gorillas with 2 very small babies. Everyone took some amazing pictures with some special guidance from Janette.   We went on several day and evening safaris and a boat trip where we saw so many different animals and birds.   These included lions, leopards, hippos, giraffe, zebra, warthogs, crocodiles and a vast selection of antelope.    Janette had arranged everything to run very smoothly and safely and with her great sense of humour and expertise we all had a wonderful time and came back with literally hundreds of great photos.   I would highly recommend this trip with Janette to everyone.   Thank you to everyone involved in this trip of a lifetime.”

Description

This bespoke trip has been designed to provide an opportunity to go on safari to see the Big 5 in addition to seeing Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees in the wild.   Uganda has a lot to see and do.  It straddles the Equator and lies within the Nile basin on the East African plateau.  It is the size of the United Kingdom and mostly well watered and fertile.  It is distinguished from other African safari destinations by its closed canopy forest and the accessibility to enable viewings of Gorillas and Chimpanzees, along with a colourful array of birds and butterflies in their natural habitat.

Our trip begins with our overnight flights to Entebbe.  Our recommended route is with Emirates airline from Birmingham to Dubai to connect with the onward flight to Entebbe.   We arrive at Entebbe where we are met by Peter Hogel who transfers us to the Malakai Eco Lodge for our first evening.  Here we will settle in and unwind before meeting for dinner and chatting about our time ahead.

The next day we head off to spot Rhino in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, a reserve specifically used to protect this endangered species.   We will spend the afternoon Rhino tracking and overnight at Ziwa leaving early the next morning for Murchison Falls National Park.

Murchison Falls is Uganda largest protected area.  It is a pleasant wilderness area of rolling grassland and wooded savannah extending from Karuna Falls in the east to Lake Albert in the west.  It is bisected by the river Nile.    Whilst here we should see an abundance of wildlife including hippos,  Nile crocodiles, Elephant, Buffalo, Oribi, Jacksons Hartebeest, Bohur Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Lion and Leopard.   There are also 350 species of birds to look out for.  We will also take a cruise down the River Nile for an alternative view of the wildlife.

From Murchison we move to Hoima for a night before travelling on to Kibale National Park for our Chimpanzee tracking experience.     Kibale has one of the worlds highest density of Primates. It supports dense forest, swamps and grassland and is home to the Elephant, Golden Cat, Serval, Duikers and more than 300 bird species.  Primates include Bushbabies, Pottos, Grey Cheeked Mangabeys, Colobus Monkeys (Red and Black and White), Red Tailed Monkeys and of course, Chimpanzees.

After Kibale we move to Queen Elizabeth National Park which flanks both Lake Edward and Lake George.     We have a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel where you will be blown away by the abundance of wildlife sightings from the boat.  We are seated quite low down so the angle of view is also very special for obtaining eye level images.    Here we also do our Lion Tracking where we hope to see 3 or 4 groups of Lions.   Other wildlife includes Buffalo, Impala, Kobi, Bushbuck and over 542 bird species.  There are also large herds of Elephants here.    Whilst here we will also have a Bush Dinner out in the open, a wonderful experience whilst we watch the sun go down.

Still part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, we move to the Ishasha area to see world famous Tree Climbing Lions.   Currently there are about 40 individuals split amongst 3 prides.  It is suggested that the lions climb the trees to escape the attention of biting flies but this is unproven!    This froms part of our journey on to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where we trek to see Mountain Gorillas.

This is a very special experience.   We will have our own guide and protectors who will lead us to one of the four Gorillas groups in the forest.   One they are relocated we offload our backpacks and leave our trekking poles behind just taking our cameras for the next short journey to the gorillas.    We will see a family group usually including a silverback and hopefully, juveniles and even babies if we are really lucky.  It is a wonderful experience to spend time with these large but seemingly gentle creatures.     It is an experience you will never forget!

After Bwindi we travel back to Kampala (near Entebbe) for our last night in the Malakai Eco Lodge with dinner before transferring to Entebbe for our journey home the next day.   We leave Entebbe at about 3.30pm to arrive home at about 6.30am the next day, again via Dubai

 

 

 

 

  • Included
  • All internal tranfers
  • Gorilla permits
  • All park fees
  • Chimpanzee permits
  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Photographic hints and tips as required
  • Driver and Guide
  • Excluded
  • Personal Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • International Flights
  • Visa
  • Drinks
  • Tipping (Entirely up to each individual)
  • Day 1
    • Depart for Entebbe
  • Day 2
    • Arrive Entebbe
    • Transfer to Malakai Eco Lodge
    • Unwind and relax over evening meal and chat about the trip ahead
  • Day 3
    • Early morning departure for Murchison Falls National Park
    • There will be pit stops on the way with photographic opportunities
    • Stay at Fort Murchison
  • Day 4
    • Full Day Safari
    • Boat trip in the afternoon
  • Day 5
    • Full day safari
    • Boat Cruise on River Nile
    • Optional boat trip on the Delta to try to spot Shoebills
  • Day 6
    • Transfer to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
    • Walking safari to see the Southern White Rhino
    • Stay at Amuka Safari Lodge
  • Day 7
    • In the morning we can choose a waking safari with the Southern White Rhino or a Shoebill safari in the marshes
    • Walking safari for Rhinos in the evening
  • Day 8
    • Transfer to Kibale
    • Stay at Isunga Lodge
  • Day 9
    • Chimpanzee Tracking
    • This will be in the morning or afternoon depending on permit availability
  • Day 10
    • Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
    • Afternoon boat trip on the Khanzinga Channel
    • Stay at Kingfisher Lodge
  • Day 11
    • Morning safari at Queen Elizabeth National Park
    • Lion Tracking
    • Transfer to Ishasha
    • Stay @theriver
  • Day 12
    • Search for tree climbing lions at Ishasha
    • Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
    • Stay at Buhoma Community Rest Camp
  • Day 13
    • Gorilla Tracking
  • Day 14
    • Transfer to Lake Mburu National Park
    • Afternoon Game Drive at Lakw Mburu
    • Stay at Eagles Nest
  • Day 15
    • Morning Game Drive Lake Mburu
    • Transfer to Kampala
    • Stay at Malakai Eco Lodge
    • Evening Dinner at the lodge
  • Day 16
    • Depart for UK
  • Day 17
    • Arrive Home
  • What currency will I need?

    The local currency is the Ugandan Shilling.  At lodges you will be able to use US$.   On the way from the airport at Entebbe we will stop at an exchange facility so you can obtain local currency for purchasing drinks and other sundries throughout the tour. We will also at times have access to ATMs.

  • How long does it take to get there?

    We usually fly from Birmingham to Dubai and connect to a flight to Entebbe.   It is around 12 hours flying time.  We leave on day one (about 8.30pm) and arrive on day two (about 1.30pm).   Our return flights are similar, leaving Entebbe at about 3.30pm and arriving back in Birmingham at about 6.30am the next day.

  • How much are the flight costs?

    In 2016 the return flights, economy class, were in the region of £500.00 per person.   This was with Emirates Airlines, flying from Birmingham.

  • How do I get my Visa?

    You will need to complete an application form (downloadable from the Uganda High Commission website) and post this with your passport, a passport photograph, a postal order for the correct fee and a Special Delivery SAE.  The process is simple and fast.  Your passport, complete with your Visa will be returned to you within 7 days.

  • How much does the Visa cost?

    The cost in 2016 was £65.00 for a Tourist Visa.

  • What is the weather like?

    At this time of the year it is about 30 degrees, hot and dry BUT it can sometimes be cool at night and also in the mornings so you will need to take with you additional layers to keep warm if it is cooler at these times.   Sometimes it can rain so a waterproof is required, especially when we are in Bwindi Imprentetrable Forest trekking to see Mountain Gorillas.   At Bwindi it may be cold and wet so best to be prepared.

  • What is the Accommodation like?

    Accommodation is clean and of a good standard.  Where possible wifi is available (sometimes it is difficult in Uganda to access wifi)

  • What is the time difference?

    3 hours ahead.  Greenwich Mean Time + 3 hours.

  • Do I need to have any inoculations?

    There are no specific requirement but we recommend Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Diphtheria and Hepatitis A.   Anti Malarial medication is a must.    It is best to check with your GP to ensure that you are protected.

  • What is the transport like?

    There are no internal flights!   All transfers will be in our own vehicle.  We will have the same driver (Abraham) and guide (Peter Hogel) throughout our trip.

  • What is the language?

    The official language is English.

  • How far is it to the Gorillas?

    They are wild animals and so they move around the forest.   They are monitored at all times and there is more than 1 group to visit.     They may be close or far away so your trek to find them can be a little as 1 hour or as much as 6 hours.    Either way you will be rewarded with an experience of a lifetime.

  • How long do we stay with the Gorillas?

    1 hour is permitted to sit with the Gorillas and take photographs or to just watch them behaving naturally in the wild.

  • Book your place

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  • Payment

    There are three ways in which you can make payment to us:

    Paypal: Once we confirm your slot, We send a request to your Paypal account for the required deposit.
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  • Client galleries from our tours