This 9-day Uganda culture and gorilla safari combines two remarkable experiences: mountain gorilla trekking and community engagement. Begin your adventure with a captivating encounter with the rare mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Following this unforgettable experience, immerse yourself in the local community to gain insights into the daily lives and enduring cultural traditions of Ugandans.
Day 1: Arrival and Pickup
Upon arrival at the airport, our driver guide warmly welcomes you and accompanies you to the hotel for an overnight stay, getting you ready to embark on your safari adventure starting the next day.
Day 2: Journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Embark on a memorable journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the renowned sanctuary of the captivating mountain gorillas. Your route will wind through the stunning Kigezi highlands, treating you to breathtaking vistas of terraced hills. Pause for a delightful lunch in Mbarara before continuing towards your lodge adjacent to the impenetrable forest. Take this time to relax and prepare for the exciting trek planned for the following day.
For a swift and convenient option, you may opt for a flight from Entebbe to Kihihi Airstrip or Kisoro Airfield, where our dedicated naturalist guide will be ready to transfer you to the lodge.
Day 3: Gorilla Trekking adventure
Immerse yourself in the vastness of the impenetrable forest, teeming with an array of life, from vibrant bird species to captivating butterflies and various primates. Following an early breakfast, your driver guide will escort you to the briefing area for comprehensive instructions regarding your upcoming gorilla trekking adventure.
Upon completion of the briefing, you'll be assigned to a group accompanied by a knowledgeable ranger, guiding you through the forest's depths. With the guidance of your tour guide and park ranger, prepare to encounter the magnificent and elusive mountain gorillas. The duration of the trek varies, ranging from a few minutes to several hours, contingent upon the allocated gorilla group and their location from the previous night's nesting area.
Day 4: Bwindi Cultural Trail & Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
Embark on an enriching experience to comprehend, value, and relish nature by engaging with the local communities harmoniously coexisting with the natural habitat. Following breakfast, we will explore one of the cultural trails, delving into the lives of these communities closely connected with the gorillas. Embrace the opportunity to learn a new skill and partake in their daily routines.
Enjoy lunch within the community before we set off for Lake Bunyonyi in the afternoon.
Day 5: Lake Bunyonyi Island Tour
Lake Bunyonyi, aptly named the "place of many little birds" in the local Rukiga language, invites exploration. Today, we will immerse ourselves in the lake's charm, discovering its various islands, each with a rich history. Learn about their past, such as the use of certain islands as leper colonies and the infamous 'punishment island,' where unmarried pregnant girls were historically abandoned to perish.
Embark on a tour to explore some of Lake Bunyonyi's 29 Islands. Engage in cultural activities on one of the islands, culminating in a community lunch experience.
Day 6: Ankole Cultural Tour
Following the Lake Bunyonyi encounter, journey towards Ankole for an immersion into the traditional way of life in this region. Delight in the picturesque countryside with its rolling hills and embrace a leisurely afternoon, fully immersed in Uganda's rich cultural experience.
Day 7: Immersive Traditional Homestead Experience
Spend the night within a local family's homestead in the community. An early morning begins with joining the herdsman to partake in the milking ritual of the magnificent long-horned Ankole cows before they venture out for the day. Gain insight into the traditions surrounding cow milking and then return for breakfast.
Following this experience, take a leisurely stroll through the village, visiting various homes and stopping at points offering breathtaking views. Engage in firsthand experiences of the locals' lifestyle, their culinary practices, and cultural customs amid the undulating hills overlooking the village.
As part of the journey, there's an opportunity to visit a local school, offering interaction with the children, or alternatively, accompany the herdsmen as they guide the cows to graze in the fields.
Day 8: Immersion in Lake Mburo National Park's Wilderness
Following breakfast at our host family's residence, we embark on a journey towards Lake Mburo National Park, pausing for a visit at the Igongo Cultural Museum, which narrates the history of the Ankore Kingdom. Notably, Lake Mburo stands as Uganda's smallest Savannah park.
Upon our arrival at the lodge, we partake in an afternoon boat excursion on Lake Mburo. This serene ride offers opportunities to witness hippos, crocodiles, zebras, and buffaloes in their natural habitat. The park's diverse avian population provides an enchanting spectacle during the boat ride. Subsequently, an optional nature walk within the park is available, guided by an armed ranger, providing a closer experience with the park's wildlife.