• Explosion crater lake, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
  • Uganda kobs grazing on golden plains, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
  • Elephants on the Mweya Peninsula at Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
  • Islands of Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda
  • Zebras in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda

The Wild West

An adventure on the wild side, the trip for active teens! Seek out top savannah predators, track chimps in a rainforest gorge and immerse yourself in the savannah with bush camping in the seclusion of the wilds. Paddle dugout canoes across a scenic highland lake and hike terraced hillsides to meet the communities living there. Then venture into the darkness on a nocturnal wildlife drive to seek out leopards, hyena and hippos, a cycle through herds of zebra and impala. A memorable trip for all the family.

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Itinerary - The Wild West [TACP031]

Day One

A Cultural Dance

Drive from Kampala or Entebbe to Kasese.
Estimated journey time: 7 hrs.

Stop off for lunch at the Kikorongo Womens Group, to the backdrop of the acacia tree dotted savannah plains laid out below. The village name Kikorongo means “too much sunshine” in the local Lukonzo language, but this certainly doesn’t sap the group members' energy! They’ll treat you to a vibrant performance of traditional singing, dancing and storytelling. Accompanied by some local talented musicians who will be playing traditional drums, flute and a wooden xylophone called ndara.
Estimated excursion time: 30 mins

Drive from Kasese to Queen Elizabeth NP.
Estimated journey time: 1 hr. 

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Little Elephant Camp, safari tent.

Day Two

Predator Tracking and Water Safari

Rise before dawn breaks over the horizon to meet the expert predator tracking team from the Uganda Carnivore Program and Uganda Wildlife Authority. The team is made up of a group of researchers who monitor the big cat population in Queen Elizabeth National Park, ensuring their health and well being while also working with local communities to limit the possibilities of human wildlife conflict. You’ll be spending the morning in the park with the team around the Kasenyi and North Kazinga Plains, searching for prides of lions and if you’re very lucky they’ll have just made a kill! The researchers are equipped with radio tracking devices to monitor the tagged lions and you’ll be licensed to venture off the typical tourist tracks to search amongst the thick bushes and euphorbia trees to get close up to the big cat prides. You will be able to watch the lions socialise and play in a truly natural setting of the savannah, in true seclusion. If you’re lucky also get a good chance of spotting the elusive leopards with your highly trained guides of the savannah.
Estimated excursion time: 3 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: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Little Elephant Camp, safari tent.

Day Three

Chimps in a Sunken Rainforest

Kyambura Gorge is a sunken rainforest filled gorge set in the middle of rolling savannah plains. The gorge contains its own rainforest ecosystem in which you will be tracking a small isolated population of chimpanzees. Before tracking you will first receive a briefing on tracking the chimps from your guides. You will then descend along a steep forest path into the gorge to search for these elusive creatures. As you trek through the unique atmosphere of the forest your guide will be able to identify many of the varied species found here. The success rate of tracking these chimps is 65% and if you find them you can spend an hour with them. Observe their natural behaviour in the wild as they feed, socialise, nurse their young, relax, patrol and display their prowess before you climb out of the gorge onto the savannah plains.
Estimated excursion time: 3  hrs (including 1 hr viewing) 

Relax on the savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park from your intimate bush camp. Each of the camping areas are nestled away from each other in the tranquil boundaries of the park, allowing you to unwind in peace to the sounds of nature. From your shaded tent verandah you can read a good book, spot some of the plethora of bird species living around the camp and you may even spy some resident wildlife such as Uganda kobs, waterbuck and elephants grazing in the distance. Of course with a full barbeque setup at your camp, you can also braai in the bush while enjoying those stunning savannah views. The camp’s friendly staff are on hand to ensure your safety as you relax in true wilds of the savannah.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Little Elephant Camp, safari tent.

Day Four

Instagram Panoramas

Drive from Queen Elizabeth NP to Lake Bunyonyi.
Estimated journey time: 6 hrs. 

Spend some time relaxing at Birdsnest Resort Bunyonyi on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi. If you’re feeling energetic there are traditional dugout canoes available for you to paddle along the lakeshore or a motorboat available to you to venture deeper into the lake (for an additional cost*). Of course you can also swim in the lodge's eco pool, relax with a good book on the sun loungers, enjoy a refreshing cocktail from the bar or birdwatch with species such as the Pied Kingfisher to be spied hovering and diving into the water. However you choose to spend your time, you will truly unwind at one of the most idyllic lakes in the Kigezi Highlands.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Birdnest Resort @ Bunyonyi, cottage.

Day Five

Canoes and Culture

Explore Lake Bunyonyi and the surrounding hills by hiking and canoeing with a knowledgeable local guide. Begin your day by taking to the water in a local dugout canoe to reach the Kyabahinga Peninsula and visit the local nursery school, where you’ll be welcomed to a singing and dancing performance by the pupils. Then meet a local brewer taste the local beer if you choose, called Obushera that has been drunk here for generations. Before a 30 minute hike to the peninsula's hilltop for a session with a traditional healer, who will share their secrets of tropical highland flora. From the hilltop you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views over the surrounding vista, with most of Lake Bunyonyi and it’s 29 islands visible and views over the rolling hills to Mount Muhavura on the skyline. Continue on with your walk along the ridge to meet Mrs. Anna, a craft maker who will also show you the tricks of her trade and provide you with a  tasty local lunch of beans, sweet and ‘Irish’ potatoes, ground nuts and dodo – local spinach. As you eat she will also be happy to chat and give you further insight to the community living on the hills of Lake Bunyonyi.
This afternoon, descend to the lakeshore to paddle around Akampene Island then Bwama Island, a former leper colony, stopping off at a secondary school and medical centre to learn more about the local community. Finally make a stop off at one more of Lake Bunyonyi’s islands, Kyahugye Island which is home to zebra, waterbuck and impalas! By 6pm you’ll have built up a healthy appetite, so you’ll be off for dinner on the lake shores including the lake specialty – freshly caught crayfish. Estimated excursion time: 10 hrs

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Birdnest Resort @ Bunyonyi, cottage.

Day Six

A Night Safari

Explore the hustle and bustle of Kabale, the largest town in the Kigezi Highlands. This walking tour will guide you through the thronging market streets where you can explore the stalls of local fruits, clothes and crafts to the industrious garage streets which keep the town moving. You’ll take an informative trip to the Bakiga Museum, where you can learn about the history of the region and the ancient amphitheater where elders met to solve issues. Your final stop off is at the historical White Horse Inn,  which is perched on a hillside overlooking the town.
Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Drive from Lake Bunyonyi to Lake Mburo NP.
Estimated journey time: 5 hrs. 

As darkness falls across the savannah, set out to explore the network of tracks criss-crossing the landscape to observe the secret lives of the wildlife. You’ll be accompanied by an expert Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger, who will be scanning the savannah forest with their spotlights to search for a variety of species including the genet cat, bush pigs and hippos grazing amongst the acacia trees. This nocturnal game drive also provides an excellent opportunity to seek out some of the park's top predators including spotted hyena and one of the highest chances of seeking out the solitary leopards of anywhere in Uganda! After several hours scouring the park and hopefully some top wildlife sightings, you’ll be returned to your lodge for the remainder of the evening.
Estimated excursion time: 2hrs 30 mins

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock, cottage.

Day Seven

Bikes and Boats

Take to the sandy paths and tracks meandering through Lake Mburo National Park with mountain bikes for your bush biking safari. This activity is a great opportunity to get out of the vehicle and experience the landscape from a different perspective, to enjoy the sites and sounds of nature more intimately.  You will be joined by an experienced biking guide, who will show you the route so you don’t get lost, as well as help you spot the wildlife. There are plenty of game herd species such as Burchell’s zebra, impala, warthog, topi, bushbuck and waterbuck which wander out of the park boundaries for you to spot along the way. Your guide will also help you tailor the route to suit you whether that is a gentle family ride or taking a more extreme route through the African bush.
Estimated excursion time: 2 hrs

Spend some time relaxing at your lodge, with a stunning savannah landscape of rolling hills, acacia trees and rocky outcrops laid out before you. Refresh yourself by cooling off from the heat of the day in the lodge swimming pool or relax on the shaded sun loungers. The lodge also has a large open sided thatched dining / lounge area complete with a bar, where you’re more than welcome to catch the breeze and watch the world pass by. Your room also has a private shaded area if you wish to unwind in seclusion.

From the shores of Lake Mburo embark on a water safari with a local skipper who will share their knowledge on the Lake Mburo-Nakivali wetland system. Lake Mburo is known for its high diversity and density of birdlife, with 350 different species recorded living along the shores including African Finfoot, White-backed Night-Heron, Papyrus Gonolek, Shining-blue Kingfisher, Giant Kingfisher. The lake is also home to a large hippo population numbering around 1000 individuals, which you can hear call across the water as they wallow in the shallows, dwarf crocodiles basking on rocks and monitor lizards rustle the papyrus as they climb through the reeds all of which are regularly sighted when exploring the lakeshore!
Estimated excursion time: 2 hrs

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock, cottage.

Day Eight

A Walk on the Wild Side

During the cooler hours of the day you will be driven into the heart of the park to meet a Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger. Your knowledgeable guide will be escorting you throughout walking safari in Lake Mburo National Park and be able to give you detailed information on the wildlife inhabiting the park. You’ll have the option of walking along the banks of Lake Mburo itself or out onto the savannah plains of the park. Walking safaris are an excellent way to view the park and get up-close-and-personal with the animals which includes warthogs, zebras and impala. If you’re lucky you will also be able to find the small group of giraffes which were reintroduced to the park in 2015. Tracking on foot and watching these graceful animals grazing on the acacia trees will give you a different perspective than game driving in your vehicle and is a truly special experience. Don’t worry, you’re perfectly safe with your Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger from the wilder animals in the park!
Estimated excursion time: 3 hrs

Drive from Lake Mburo NP to Kampala or Entebbe.
Estimated journey time: 4 hrs. 

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Not included.