• A Tree-Climbing Lion in Ishasha Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Gorillas & Lions

Discover the savannah and waters of Queen Elizabeth National Park from the comfort of your private 4x4 vehicle, complete with pop-top roof allowing you to truly experience the savannah with ease to seek out elephant herds, buffalo, hippo pods and the infamous tree-climbing lions. Venture to the highland rainforests to track the rare mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. Bwindi is a wildly diverse ancient rainforest and protects around half of the world's population of mountain gorillas. Trust us, you’ll never forget your experience of meeting our highly endangered relatives.

Gorillas & Lions [TACP1-002]

Day One

A Water Safari

Transfer from Entebbe to Queen Elizabeth NP (Mweya Peninsula).
Estimated transfer time: 7 hrs. 

Embark on a water safari to explore the Kazinga Channel, which flows from Lake Edward to Lake George through the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The channel is set in picturesque scenery, with acacia and euphorbia tree covered slopes, cliff heads protruding above you and grassy clearing allowing for excellent wildlife viewing. As you meander your way along the channel you’ll seek out buffalos, warthogs and waterbucks on the riverbanks. If you’re lucky you’ll even meet elephants bathing as they cool off from the heat of the day! The channel is also a prime location to view crocodiles basking on the riverbanks and hippo pods, calling to each other across the water. After a couple of hours you’ll reach a fishing village positioned on the end of the channel. Here you can view a diverse array of birds which often congregate here, sunning themselves on the riverbanks, before you make the return journey to the docks on the Mweya Peninsula.
Estimated excursion time: 2 hrs 30 mins

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

Day Two

Lions & Savannah Plains

Explore the savannah of Kasenyi Plains on a  wildlife drive, set to the stunning backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains or ‘Mountains of the Moon’ running along the skyline. These plains are home to a number of leks or breeding grounds for Uganda kobs, where they carry out their battles for mating rights. The vast herds of Uganda kobs grazing here keep the grass short, allowing easy viewing of species such as elephants, buffalo, warthogs, bushbuck and waterbuck amongst the euphorbia tree dotted-landscape. You may even spot a solitary hippo wallowing in one of the small pools! This is also one of the preferred hunting grounds for the prides of lions, attracted by the large game herds. With kills sometimes a focal point for days this is an ideal area to spot these impressive big cats! There is a large network of trails through this area of the park allowing you to explore in seclusion at your one pace and enjoy the stunning scenery of the park's expansive savannah plains. Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Transfer from Kasenyi Plains to Ishasha Plains.
Estimated transfer time: 3 hrs

Ishasha Plains which covers the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, is known for its iconic population of tree-climbing lions. Lions are only recorded to exhibit this behaviour in a few locations across Africa, believed to be a learned behaviour specific to a few prides. It’s been speculated that this behaviour is to avoid the hottest part of the day to catch the cool breezes in the trees and to dodge the biting insects found in the grasses below. On entering the savannah you will track through the African bush on a wildlife drive to seek out these impressive cats. You’ll be looking for them in the branches of huge fig trees, as they laze away in the shade, sheltered from the heat of the day. If you still have time after tracking the lions you can explore the various tracks for other wildlife species found on savannah here including elephants, topi, Uganda kob, buffalo and hyaenas. Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day Three

Tree-climbing Lions

Rise early before the sun to watch it light up Ishasha Plains, casting a golden hue across the savannah. Dawn wildlife drives give excellent photo opportunities due to the early morning light, and the wildlife is more active before the heat of the day sets in. These plains allow you to take a wildlife drive in relative seclusion compared to the rest of the park, due to the limited number of lodges in the area. The early morning is the best time to scour the plains for clans of hyaenas, known residents of the Ishasha sector. If they are feeling shy then there are also good chances of seeing elephant herds, Uganda kob and the beautiful topi, an antelope common to the area. Of course if you failed to find the tree-climbing lions so far here is another chance to seek out these top savannah predators, in the giant fig trees found on these plains. Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Transfer from Ishasha Plains to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Ruhija).
Estimated Journey Time: 4 hrs. 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day Four

Gorillas in the Mist

Experience Uganda’s greatest natural wonder, an intimate meeting with a mountain gorilla family in the misty rainforest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This rainforest 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 and wildlife and give you further insight into the general ecosystem of the rainforest as you trek.
On the morning of tracking you will rise early and we advise a hearty breakfast, before you're escorted to the gorilla tracking trailhead into the rainforest. Here you’ll 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 one the most magical experiences you can see in nature. After observing the mountain gorillas you will make the return trek to the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where you’ll meet your driver.
Estimated excursion time: 2 - 8 hrs (including 1 hour viewing)

Meet with your local guide to explore the area around Ruhija village, on the edge of the rainforest. This is a great way to meet local members of the community as they go about their everyday lives. On your walk you will be visiting some of the local handicraft shops, where the local craftspeople fashion 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 and bargain a fair price. You will then move on through the village with the chance to meet other local residents, including a traditional healer who will share the secrets of medicinal plants and the local brewer to 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: 2 hrs

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day Five

Journey Home

Transfer from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Ruhija) to Entebbe. 
Estimated journey time: 10 hrs. 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Not included.

*An internal flight can also be included if you wish to reduce on the travel time. Please request details if this interests you.