Days
5
Price from
£2,295GBP

This independent trip offers a once in a lifetime opportunity – an encounter with the endangered mountain gorilla. Spending time with these fascinating and remarkably humanlike creatures is truly an experience to savour. Starting in Entebbe, discover the rich wildlife arena that is Lake Mburo National park. Then venture into the dense jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where a rigorous hike yields the ultimate reward.

Independent Experiences
Independent travel, without the stress. Peregrine’s Independent Experiences are a range of short packages that you can add to other Experiences or as an extension to a longer tour, to craft your perfect holiday itinerary. Independent Experiences are for 1-3 travellers, depart daily and offer the back-up of Peregrine, our local offices and expert resident guides.


Start
Entebbe, Uganda
Finish
Entebbe, Uganda
Country
Uganda
Style
Peregrine
Code
PFUGX
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 3

Why we love this trip

  • Wake up to spectacular views of the forest canopy during a 2-night stay in Chalets at Buhoma Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

  • Come face-to-face with rare mountain gorillas on the ultimate wildlife adventure.

  • Trek through the World Heritage-listed forests of Uganda and spend an unforgettable hour in the presence of these majestic, gentle and contemplative creatures.

  • Straddle both hemispheres with a visit to Uganda’s equator line.

  • Discover the diverse animal life, five lakes and impressive landscapes of Lake Mburo National Park.

  • Spend an unforgettable night in a small and intimate camp in Lake Mburo. Spacious permanent tents are raised on wooden decks with large bedrooms, en-suite facilities and verandahs overlooking the lake and valley.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy either, so it can be pretty strenuous and often humid. But the sheer thrill in coming across a habituated group of gorillas, dominated by a great male silverback, more than outweighs any difficulty. You need to be prepared and fit enough to walk up to 4 hours - up and down hill. Perhaps pack some gardening gloves to assist in any up-hill climbs.

  • Although this is an Independent Experience, your gorilla trek will be a shared activity. You will be accompanied by other travellers, with a maximum of 8 people per gorilla family, plus your guides.

  • Our Independent Experiences have been designed for just one to three people, departing every day of the week for most Experiences. You can mix and match to create your perfect trip combination, then we’ll arrange the transport between each experience for you. You will have local guides at most destinations and activities. It’s independent travel without the stress.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Welcome to Uganda. This Independent Experience starts at Entebbe airport where you will be met by our local representative and transferred to Lake Mburo National Park. Please make sure that you arrive in time for an 11am departure. If you are planning on staying in Entebbe prior to your Independent Experience you can arrange to be collected today from your nominated hotel (at 10am) instead of the Airport. Drive approximately 5 hours to the park, stopping on the way to stand in both the northern and southern hemispheres at the equator line. After entering the park, you’ll enjoy a game drive on the way to camp, arriving in the early afternoon. Extensive acacia woodland and five lakes make up Lake Mburo National Park, an area that is home to a stunning array of wildlife. It’s the best place in the country to see eland (the largest species of antelope), as well as zebra, topi, impala and several types of birds that gather around acacia trees. This afternoon you’ll take a boat ride on Lake Mburo. The lakes provide a home for hippos, crocodiles and a variety of waterbirds – the swampy fringe region provides a hideaway for secretive species such as sitatunga and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. Tonight’s simple but comfortable tented camp is located in the centre of the park. Placed in varied settings, some rooms are situated in a forest, some with a lake view, and some on rocky outcrops. Animals gathering in the valley will give you fantastic game viewing opportunities, and you can relax and watch wildlife at a waterhole below the pool.
Accommodation
  • Lake Mburo Mantana or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Mburo National Park - Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Dinner
This morning you’ll enjoy an early breakfast, leave the national park and continue on to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (approximately 6 hours), your base for the next two nights. Your lodge here combines excellent local hospitality with seclusion in this enchanting wilderness area. The forest’s moniker is very apt – this is extremely rugged and dense woodland which dates back over 25,000 years and is one of the most biologically diverse rainforests in the world. If time allows, in the afternoon you’ll take a walk to a beautiful waterfall within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Look out for the wildlife that will surround you – numerous birds, butterflies, and maybe monkeys. Then return to camp to enjoy a sumptuous dinner this evening.
Accommodation
  • Buhoma Lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
A short morning drive takes you to the park headquarters, where you’ll be briefed on the gorilla trek by the Uganda Wildlife Authorities. The 330 square kilometre Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was declared a World Heritage site in 1994 because of its incredible biodiversity. This small pocket of primeval forest in the Virunga Mountains protects about half of the world's remaining 700 mountain gorillas, as well as providing a home for chimpanzees and several species of monkeys. Gorilla trekking is highly controlled with only 24 gorilla trekking permits available each day. Once a trekking group encounters one of the gorilla families, only one hour is granted in the presence of the great apes before trekkers must leave, however reluctantly. Be aware that the trek can be strenuous and may reach altitudes of almost 2,000 metres above sea level. Depending on weather conditions, some of the paths can be slippery and these paths themselves can change depending on the location of the gorillas. Therefore it is very hard to predict how long you will need to walk for, but a very good level of fitness is recommended for this trek. You can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, and watching their movements is like seeing a mirror image of yourself. Be mesmerised and feel the emotions as you watch them eat, sleep, groom and play – the giant silverback surveying the scene as the smaller ones laze in the trees or play like children. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch on the trek. At the end of the day the comforts of the hotel beckon, along with a chance to reflect on what is sure to be a truly memorable day.
Accommodation
  • Buhoma Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest - Gorilla Trek & Permit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
All good things must come to an end and so must this short safari with a return to Entebbe (approximately 8 hours). This is broken up by a stop along the way to have a picnic lunch. You will arrive this evening at your hotel in Entebbe. Maybe take the option to celebrate this memorable experience with a final dinner with the group.
Accommodation
  • Laico Lake Victoria or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This trip comes to an end after breakfast. You can depart at anytime today for your journey onwards.

Note: A departure transfer to Entebbe Airport is included. Please ensure you have given your flight details to your booking agent approximately 15 days prior to departure.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Safari lodge (3 nights), Comfortable hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Lake Mburo National Park - Game Drive
  • Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest - Gorilla Trek & Permit

Dates & availability

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Important notes

INDEPENDENT EXPERIENCE ACTIVITIES:
Please note that lodge based activities on your Independent Experience will be on a join in basis. This means that these activities may be shared with other guests at the property.

FLIGHTS AND TRANSFERS:
As an arrival transfer is included, please ensure the correct details are provided to Peregrine prior to your departure. A representative will then meet you at Entebbe International Airport on arrival. Your flight must arrive into Entebbe prior to 8:00am for the drive to Lake Mburo. If clients are unable to arrive into Entebbe prior to 8:00am, a night's pre-tour accommodation must be booked (additional cost). Your departure transfer back to Entebbe Airport is also included, please ensure the correct flight details are provided to Peregrine prior to your departure. Your tour officially ends after breakfast so you can depart at any time on the final day.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.