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9-day Rediscover Gorillas, Chimps & the Nile (Accommodated)

Tour Code 22RGCN9A. Rediscover Africa
9 days from
$1'975 USD
USD
Plus 800 USD mandatory supplements.
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Group Size: Maximum 16. Age Group: Open Age

Explore Uganda, trek chimpanzee and gorillas!

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Enjoy one of Africa's greatest wildlife experiences on this Ugandan safari tour. Trek rare chimpanzee and mountain gorillas in the misty mountains of Central Africa, where the last few surviving mountain gorillas can be seen in the lush Kigezi Highlands of southwest Uganda. Visit picturesque lakes, friendly villages and rural landscapes topping it off with adventure activities galore in Jinja, at the source of the River Nile.

This tour includes Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking. Permits must be paid at the time of booking.

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Day 1. Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park Highlights. Kampala, Uganda. Accommodation. Simba Camp, Uganda.

From Kampala, our journey begins by traveling west towards Queen Elizabeth National Park. Stopping briefly at the equator in Kayabwe. Uganda is among the few countries in the world where you can have the opportunity to cross the equator line.

Continuing through fertile terraced hillsides, steep mountains and tangled forests there may be opportunities to spot herds of Ankole cattle, with their notably long curving horns, before arriving at Simba Camp, our accommodation for the next two nights.

Simba Camp is nestled atop a hill overlooking Lake Kikorongo on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park, with panoramic views across the park's extensive savannah plains teeming with wildlife as well as Lake George and the famed Kazinga Channel. It is the closest accommodation to the Kasenyi plains on the edge of Lake George.

Here we will have the opportunity to relax and unwind, take a walk in the surrounding areas or meet with the local community.

Day 2. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Chimpanzee Trek Highlights. Chimpanzee Trek, Kyambura Gorge, Uganda. Accommodation. Simba Camp, Uganda.

After breakfast we enter Queen Elizabeth National Park and take in the superb views of the mountains that separate Uganda from central Africa as well as Lake Edwards and Lake George.

Queen Elizabeth National park has over 500 species of bird and 100 species of mammals, making it one of the most bio diverse national parks in the world. As we continue to Kyambura Gorge, the Valley of the Apes, we may get to spot these animals en route to our encounter with the chimpanzees.

We spend some time walking through the verdant rainforest with an expert guide, observing the habituated chimpanzees in the forest canopies. Kyambura Gorge is also home to various other primates, namely the black-and-white colobus monkey, baboon, red tailed monkey and vervet monkey.

Day 3. Queen Elizabeth National Park to Lake Bunyonyi Highlights. Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda. Accommodation. Lake Bunyonyi Camp.

A new day begins as we make our way to Lake Bunyonyi, locally translated as the place of many little birds. The lake is 27km long, 7km wide and at an elevation of 1950m above sea level, it is surrounded by undulating hills between 2200m to 2478m high. With a depth of nearly 900m in parts, this lake is the second deepest lake in Africa (the deepest being Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania).

There are twenty-nine islands that can be visited by local boats, each island has a mystical and ancestral story behind it, be sure to ask your local guide about these folklore stories. Lake Bunyonyi is a birders paradise, home to the White-tailed Blue Monard, Africa Harrier Hawk and Levaillant's Cuckoo just to name a few.

The serene lake further attracts international migratory birds during winter, making it an ideal destination for birding enthusiasts. This feature lake is our base for the next three nights.

Day 4-5. Lake Bunyonyi, Gorilla Trek Highlights. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda. Mountain gorillas. Accommodation. Lake Bunyonyi Camp.

On the day of our Mountain Gorilla trek we depart in the early morning to meet with our local expert guide and tracker. After an introductory briefing we commence our trek in small groups as we descend into the thick rainforest. The trek can be demanding at times with uneven terrain and hilly rainforest but the privilege of spending time with a family of these gentle primates makes the effort well worthwhile. This region of Africa is home to the world’s remaining wild mountain gorillas, many of which inhabit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the location of our trek. The park also offers a remarkably wide range of things to see: 350 bird species, 310 butterflies, 200 tree species, and 120 primates including chimpanzees and the black-and-white Colobus monkeys.

The usual procedure, once we have located the gorillas, is to squat or sit down and quietly observe them for around an hour – the time set by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Gorillas are highly social creatures, living in groups between 12 and 20 individuals, usually led by an alpha male (the silverback - so called because of the silver hair on his back which grows once the male gorilla attains maturity). Most people find that the gorillas are remarkably human-like at close range – particularly in the social interaction between family members and the playfulness of the young. Photography is permitted (although not with a flash and there are restrictions for those who wish to use a video camera.)

NB: The permits allow for one entry to trek and view the gorillas (viewing time limited to one hour). The authorities maintain strict limits on the number of visitors allowed to observe the gorillas each day. Depending on our group size and the availability of the gorilla permits, the tour itinerary may vary in day to day running order while at Lake Bunyonyi. Alternating between either a day of trekking or a day of leisure. From time to time members of our group may have to trek on different days. If circumstantially and by a very slim chance our Gorilla trek should take place in a neighbouring country, i.e. heading into Rwanda for the day (instead of Uganda) this may entail extra visa fees and we shall advise you well in advance. Please take the day to day itinerary as a guideline only. This applies to day 3 – 5 of this tour.

As mentioned above, today is either a trek day or a day of leisure, enjoying the many optional activities at Lake Bunyonyi. Whether relaxing on the shores of this deep crater lake with a good book or heading out to the village and orphanage to gain an insight into the everyday life of Ugandans in this area.

Day 6. Lake Bunyonyi to Kampala Highlights. Equator. Accommodation. Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala.

Leaving Lake Bunyonyi after breakfast, we travel back across the Equator through lush pasture lands and the northern reaches of Lake Victoria (the largest lake in Africa) to Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.

Kampala has a wide variety of cuisine and an ample mix of landmarks and entertainment. If time allows, take the night out and try the local cuisines at one of the many restaurants and enjoy the hospitality and friendliness of the local Ugandans.

Day 7. Kampala to Jinja Accommodation. Nile River Explorer.

The adventure continues as we drive a short distance to the town of Jinja, located on the banks of Lake Victoria and the Nile River. It was in 1863 that the British explorer John Hanning Speke recognised Lake Victoria as the authentic source of the Nile, settling a long running dispute about Africa’s, and the world’s, longest river. From this modest pillar monument the Nile begins its 4132-mile course north through Uganda, Sudan and eventually Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea.

Our accommodation for the next couple of nights is situated on the verdurous banks overlooking the river. Nile River Explorers boasts an unparalleled viewing deck, a riverside jetty and an assortment of activities. These include rafting, kayaking, river SUP boarding, horse riding, quad biking, mountain biking or gentle sunset cruises.

There is also the opportunity to make a positive difference to the community by visiting and volunteering at a nearby school project, namely, Soft Power Education. It is a locally run voluntary programme aimed at building and improving schools and education in the Jinja area, to which your hands-on contribution of a few hours; either reading, painting or plastering is always most welcome.

Day 8. Jinja Highlights. Jinja, Uganda. Accommodation. Nile River Explorer.

Enjoy a free day in the spectacular Pearl of Africa and the many optional activities on offer. Adrenaline lovers can head to the world class grade 5 rapids and try rafting - an exciting day out for those enjoying the thrill of ‘white-water’.

For those who prefer a calmer day, settle with a beverage and a book either on the viewing deck or soak in the sunshine on the riverside jetty. We must mention that birding is superb in this area and you can expect to be pleasantly content while the sunset reflects on the river waters as evening approaches.

Day 9. Jinja to Kampala Highlights. Kampala, Uganda.

After a final breakfast on the banks of the Nile, spend the remainder of the morning at leisure.

We then retrace our steps back to Kampala in the late afternoon, where our tour comes to an end upon arrival.

Suggested Pre-Tour Accommodation.

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Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala

In Kampala’s leafy suburbs away from the hubbub of the city centre, this backpackers and campsite is set in secure rambling gardens where vervet monkeys can be spotted in the trees. Within walking distance to local shops and markets, and taxis can be arranged to take you into central Kampala. Rooms – dorms, doubles and singles with shared bathrooms, limited en suite rooms available, camping (in own tent or tents can be hired), and some cottages suitable for groups or families. Facilities – restaurant and bar, lounge with satellite TV, internet, kitchen, plunge pool. Transfers are available from the Airport by pre-arrangement

Double room Double room Triple room Dorm room Outside garden area Pool and bar area Pool area

* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Suggested Post-Tour Accommodation.
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Red Chilli Hideaway, Kampala

In Kampala’s leafy suburbs away from the hubbub of the city centre, this backpackers and campsite is set in secure rambling gardens where vervet monkeys can be spotted in the trees. Within walking distance to local shops and markets, and taxis can be arranged to take you into central Kampala. Rooms – dorms, doubles and singles with shared bathrooms, limited en suite rooms available, camping (in own tent or tents can be hired), and some cottages suitable for groups or families. Facilities – restaurant and bar, lounge with satellite TV, internet, kitchen, plunge pool. Transfers are available from the Airport by pre-arrangement

Double room Double room Triple room Dorm room Outside garden area Pool and bar area Pool area

* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Additional Info

PRE TOUR ACCOMMODATION:
This tour departs Kampala early on day 1; we strongly recommend therefore that you plan to arrive the day before departure to overcome any jet-lag and to acclimatise to Africa. We would be happy to book pre-tour accommodation for you – please call or email us (or speak to your agent) with your arrival details and accommodation requirements. However please book early to avoid disappointment and the risk of having to find more expensive (or less convenient) lodgings.

If time allows, we suggest planning a night or two extra (after your tour) to make the most of this part of Africa. Accommodation is usually available locally on arrival, but you can also pre book this with Acacia.

ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS:
These are optional activities that are booked during your holiday and paid directly to the provider while on tour. These options offer a variety of experiences and allow you the freedom to decide what activities you would like to do.

ACCOMMODATION:
Twin / Double share accommodation with facilities (8 nights) - some camps may have a bar or swimming pool.

TRANSPORT: Self-contained, custom-built safari vehicle with ‘club lounge’ seating for 8 including tables, 16 forward facing seats, plug sockets, freezer, water tank, library, music player input, safety features and 70-litre individual luggage compartments.

GAME PARK VISITS:
In order to maximise the quality of game driving and to comply with local authority rulings, some of our National Park visits and game viewing is carried out using services provided by local African ground handlers. As well as enhancing our experience using local guides and smaller vehicles it also allows us to contribute at a ‘grassroots’ level to local economies from which local people benefit. These local services are included in the Safari Pass.

TOUR STYLE:
Your help with occasional day to day duties, such as helping with shopping, cooking, dishes and keeping the Acacia vehicle tidy is entirely on a voluntary basis. It’s a great way to meet the local people and get to know your fellow travellers. It contributes greatly to the success of the tour - most people find the greater their involvement, the greater their enjoyment.

Meals
8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners

Accommodation
Twin share accommodation with facilities (8 nights)

Includes.
Transport
Accommodation
Meals as indicated
Services of driver/guide
All road tolls and vehicle taxes

Highlights Include:
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Chimpanzee Trekking
Mountain Gorilla Trekking
Jinja
Excludes.
Visas
Flights
Travel insurance
Departure taxes
Airport transfers
Optional activities
Drinks, tips
Items of a personal nature or health related
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