• Nile River Falls Cruise at Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
  • Hippopotamus on the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
  • A Lioness and her Cub in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
  • A Shoebill in the Nile Delta at Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
  • Kajjansi Airfield
  • A Mountain Gorilla in Buhoma in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

Gorillas, Savannah & The Nile

Fly to the palm dotted savannah of Murchison Falls National Park and explore the plains with dawn and dusk wildlife drives. Discover the mighty river Nile on a water safari to the thundering waterfall and seek out a chimpanzee family in Budongo Forest. Then fly over western Uganda to reach Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to meet a mountain gorilla family to watch them socialise, forage and play, a truly memorable adventure!

Destinations: Murchison Falls NP, Bwindi Impenetrable NP

Gallery

Itinerary - Gorillas, Savannah & The Nile [TACP004]

Day one

Welcome to the Nile

Take to the skies from Kajjansi airfield to fly to Pakuba airstrip. Estimated journey time: 1 hr. 

Explore the Buligi game tracks which crisscross the savannah between the branches of the Victoria and Albert Nile in the northern sector of the park. These game circuits offer the highest density of wildlife viewing anywhere in the park. The landscape in the park is stunning offering views over the savannah, as you wind your way through Acacia scrub and grasslands dotted with palm trees. You’ll be joined by a knowledgeable Uganda Wildlife Authority guide, to give you your highest chance of tracking down the savannah predators. They will help you track down specific wildlife such as Rothschild giraffes, lions, hippos, elephants, herds of buffalo, Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda kob, warthog, waterbuck and if you're lucky, you'll spot the elusive leopard. Towards the end of your game drive you’ll be able to stop off at the hippo pool on the Victoria Nile delta where you’ll see the hippos wallowing in the shallows and calling to each other across the water. Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs. 

Embark on a water safari on the river Nile and cruise upstream to the base of Murchison Falls waterfall. Also known as Kabalega Falls, this is one of the most popular activities in the park and offers fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities. As you cruise up the river you will be able to view giant Nile crocodiles basking in the sun, hippo pods calling to each other across the water and a multitude of bird species living and nesting on the riverbanks. A variety of game species such as buffalo, waterbuck, elephants and Uganda kob can also be viewed on the riverbanks as they come down to drink and cool off in the heat of the day. After two hours you will reach the base of the thundering falls where the White Nile surges through a 7 metre wide gap in the rock face, cutting through Fajao Gorge and falling 43 meters to continue its journey through the park. Estimated excursion time: 2 hrs

Day two

Chimpanzee Tracking

Transfer from Murchison Falls National Park to Budongo Forest. Estimated journey time: 2 hrs. 

Today you will be tracking the chimps in Kaniyo-Pabidi, part of the larger Budongo Forest reserve located in the southern sector of Murchison Falls National Park. This is one of the largest natural rainforests still surviving in Uganda, which covers 825 square km in total. This is thanks to its protection as a royal hunting forest by the King of Bunyoro, until it was gazetted as a reserve in 1932 from when the National Forest Authority has continued its protection. The forest is still home to a vast range of species such as the 280 butterfly varieties, 9 species of mammals and 465 species of plants, including the Mahogany trees which can grow up to 80 meters in height. Of course the forest is also home to nine species of primate, so watch out for the grey-cheeked mangabeys, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and olive baboons, on your trek through the rainforest. You will begin your tracking by meeting your ranger / guide for a briefing on tracking the chimpanzees in the rainforest at the forest trailhead. You will then enter the forest along a maintained network of paths. This rainforest is home to more than 600 chimps, of which a family of 80 individuals has been habituated to allow tourism visits, with an 80% successful tracking rate. Depending on where the chimps are, you should take around three hours to complete the tracking, allowing a 1 hour walk into and then out of the forest. Once you've found the group amongst the dense rainforest, spend an intimate hour with them, watching them play, eat, socialise and display their prowess. After spending your time observing the chimpanzee family you will make your way back out of the rainforest to meet your driver / guide. Estimated excursion time: 2-3 hrs. 

Explore the Buligi game tracks which crisscross the savannah between the branches of the Victoria and Albert Nile in the northern sector of the park. These game circuits offer the highest density of wildlife viewing anywhere in the park. The landscape in the park is stunning offering views over the savannah, as you wind your way through Acacia scrub and grasslands dotted with palm trees. You’ll be joined by a knowledgeable Uganda Wildlife Authority guide, to give you your highest chance of tracking down the savannah predators. They will help you track down specific wildlife such as Rothschild giraffes, lions, hippos, elephants, herds of buffalo, Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda kob, warthog, waterbuck and if you're lucky, you'll spot the elusive leopard. Towards the end of your game drive you’ll be able to stop off at the hippo pool on the Victoria Nile delta where you’ll see the hippos wallowing in the shallows and calling to each other across the water. Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs. 

Day three

Meet the Locals

Take to the skies from the Pakuba airstrip to fly to Kihihi airstrip. Estimated journey time: 2 hrs 10 mins. 

Transfer from Kihihi town to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Estimated journey time: 2 hrs. 

Meet up with your guide to explore the area around Buhoma village. You’ll be visiting some of the local handicraft shops where the local craftspeople are making a variety of crafts including fabrics, beeswax candles and hand carved wooden ornaments, a great place to pick up an authentic souvenir from your travels. Your guide can help with what is authentic. You will then walk on to meet the neighbouring community of Batwa where they’ll give you a demonstration of traditional songs and dances, giving you an insight into their former life in the rainforests and glimpse into their culture. You will meet other local residents of Buhoma including a traditional healer who will share with you their secret use of medicinal plants and learn how the locally produced bananas are used to make a variety of juices, gins and beers, you can even try and taste if you choose. Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Day four

Gorillas in the Mist

Experience Uganda’s greatest natural wonder, an intimate meeting with one of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s gorilla families! Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an incredibly important conservation site as it protects around 460 mountain gorillas, roughly half of the population left in the wild. Dating back over 25,000 years, Bwindi is one of Uganda’s most biologically diverse and most ancient rainforests, with an amazing 400 species of plants present and 350 species of birds, including 23 Rift Valley endemic species recorded. The rangers accompanying you will be able to identify the local plants, birds and wildlife as well as the general ecosystem of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as you trek. This morning you will rise early and your driver / guide will escort you to the trailhead into the rainforest. Here you will receive an orientation on tracking the gorillas from the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers who will then guide you through the dense forest. The trek length varies, depending on where the gorillas spent the night, ranging from thirty minutes to seven hours. Once you find these incredible creatures you will spend one hour with them. We think you’ll agree - to experience this unique family feed, socialise, nurse their young, patrol and display their prowess - is the most magical experience you can see in nature. After tracking you will make your way back to the edge of the rainforest where you’ll meet your driver guide. Estimated excursion time: 2 - 8 hrs (including 1 hr viewing). 

 

Day five

Journey Home

Transfer from Buhoma to Kihihi airstrip. Estimated journey time: 1 hr.

Take to the skies from Kihihi airstrip to Kajjansi airfield. Estimated journey time – 1 hr 20 mins.