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Short gorilla safari in Uganda – Fly-in (4 nights)

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Overview

The short gorilla safari flies you from Entebbe to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for a gorilla trekking adventure.

  • An 1-hour flight between Entebbe and Kisoro airport and marvel at southwestern Uganda’s rugged landscape views from the plane’s window.
  • Traditional dug-out canoe rides across Lake Mutanda and walks through remote villages and terraced gardens for an authentic African off-the-beaten-path experience.
  • Spend three nights at the idyllic Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, nestled in trees and beautiful gardens on a ridge with incredible views over Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the rugged frontier region, and across the entire Virunga Mountains chain. The bush lodge has excellent guest services and a gourmet selection.
  • With the visitor center a five-minute walk away, trek into the impenetrable jungle with local guides and porters to meet a family of mountain gorillas and spend one precious hour observing their basic cultures.
  • Meet the native Batwa forest people, learn about their ancient forest cultures, listen to their tales, and dance to their tunes.

For adventurers with less time on holiday or those connecting their journey with a wildlife safari in Kenya, Tanzania or South Africa, the 5-day short gorilla safari in Uganda is the perfect, once-in-a-lifetime off-the-beaten-track holiday expedition.

The trip starts in Entebbe, using a small domestic plane flies you across the southwestern Tuscan-like landscape to a serene forest lodge on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. You’ll spend three nights in a forest cottage with spell-bound views of the Virunga Volcanoes, the rugged Rift Valley, and the steamy forest canopy. On the second day, you’ll be guided into the pristine jungle to find a mountain gorilla family and spend one electrifying hour silently observing their evolutionary life.

You’ll also explore the rugged rural region on foot, with immersive walks through communities and terraced gardens. Engage with the Batwa native community on a forest trail, showcasing their ancient cultures, drama, hunting and survival skills when they occupied the gorilla-filled jungles.

Included/Exclude

  • Local English-speaking guides/driver
  • AMREF evacuation cover, and government taxes
  • Activities & excursions as shown in itinerary
  • Land transfers in 4x4 safari truck
  • Accommodation & Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Tourist Visa (apply online at visas.immigration.go.ug)
  • Accommodation & Meals as indicated in itinerary
  • Trekking permit & park fees (worth USD 800 pp)
  • Land transfers in 4x4 safari truck
  • Local return flight (Entebbe - Kisoro) USD 580 pp
  • Activities & excursions as shown in itinerary
  • Extra meals, snacks, gratuities, souvenirs, service tips
  • Travel insurance

Tour Amenities

Accepts Credit Cards
Car Parking
Outdoor Seating
Reservations
Smoking Allowed

Tour Plan

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport, clear travel restrictions with immigration authorities, your visa, and the Nkuringo Safaris driver will pick you up from the Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Entebbe. (15 minutes) There are optional activities around Entebbe to engage your travel lust if you arrive early in the day, like birding around the botanical gardens or just taking a walk among these internationally acclaimed bio-diverse gardens. Many birders visit Mabamba swamps to catch sight of the monstrous historical shoebill and hundreds of other rare African endemics. You may prefer a walk to the local market or fish market to find out a little bit about Uganda's urban culture. You'll stay at: Boutique Hotel Number 5 (Luxury) or Papyrus Guesthouse (Comfortable)
You'll catch an early morning domestic flight from Entebbe to Kisoro to kick off your short gorilla safari in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The one-hour flight goes over Lake Victoria, beautiful central plains, into the rolling hills of the southwest region with cultivated terraces, tropical rainforest, bamboo forest, and the majestic chain of the Virunga Volcanoes. Our driver will pick you up from Kisoro Airstrip and transfer you to the lodge. In the afternoon, you can walk the Batwa Forest Trail in Buniga Forest, a pocked forest close to the lodge. The Batwa people showcase their ancient cultural tales, hunting and survival skills on the trail. Alternatively, from Kisoro Airport, join our walking safari guide in Kisoro Town for a community walk, canoeing excursion on Lake Mutanda, and nature hike through communities & cultivated garden trails. It is an immersive off-the-beaten-track walking adventure connecting you with the local people and environments. It takes you to some of the most incredible scenes of rugged southwestern Uganda. The walking safari takes about 4-5 hours to Lake Mutanda, where the driver will pick you up for lunch before continuing to your night's stay at Nkuringo. Staying at: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
Your butler will ensure you are up and about by 7:00 am with a packed lunch, the right trekking gear, drinking water, and a walking stick. Excursion briefing starts at 7:30 am at the visitor's centre. By 8:00 am, your tracking guide and rangers will lead you and six other tourists into the rainforest to find a habituated gorilla group. Two gun-baring rangers will come along for your safety from wild animals. The machete-wilding guide is your tracker that creates a usable path through the thick jungle to the gorillas. Once you have found the gorillas, you will be allowed to observe them for an hour at a 10 meters distance. Your time in the forest can not be pre-determined as every day differs from the previous. However, most trekkers are out of the jungle by 2:00 pm with a satisfactory grin. Staying at: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
This day has some optional activities that can vary for travellers.
  • Stay back at the lodge and relax, read a book, join a cooking class or take a walk around the property and talk to some locals.
  • Go back into the mysterious jungle to meet with the gorillas for a second time. Maybe for a more extended stay, we like to call the habituation experience. But remember, you must have pre-booked the trekking permit.
  • Drive down to Lake Mutanda for a traditional dug-out canoeing experience with some of the most enchanting views on the volcano lake.
  • Forest walk either on a Batwa Forest Trail or on a Circular Trail through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, this time not for gorillas but everything else ethereal about the jungle.
  • Go on a sundowner picnic on top of the world with 360-degree spellbinding views of the hilly landscapes. It's a walking distance from the lodge.
Staying at: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
After breakfast, lazily get your bags early in the morning and take another rural drive down the volcanic mountains to the lower Kisoro Airstrip for your local scheduled flight to Entebbe International Airport. In Entebbe, you can use our facilities at Papyrus guest house to freshen up for your international flight back home. Accommodation for this day is not included, though. But we can book you a room at your discretion. Accommodation (Optional): Papyrus Guesthouse Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

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