Day 1 – Arrive Entebbe/Bwindi: Upon arrival (no later than 11 am) at Entebbe International Airport, you will be met and assisted to your 12:30 pm scheduled flight to Kihihi airstrip (or to Kisoro airstrip with the luxury option) (flight included). Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your safari lodge for a late lunch. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure. Dinner and overnight here. (Note: With the Luxury option, you will need a pre-night in at the Protea Hotel Entebbe because the flight to Kisoro airstrip on Day 1 is at 7:45 am. This extra night is included in the Luxury safari price per person, including breakfast.) (L, D, Dr)
Value Option: Volcanoes Bwindi Safari Lodge has eight stone and timber glass-fronted bandas with thatch roofs. Each banda has an en-suite bathroom with flushing toilet, double vanity, shower with hot and cold running water. Rooms have walk-in mosquito nets, 240v lighting, and a private balcony
Deluxe Option: Gorilla Forest Camp has eight large en-suite ‘tents’ which have two queen-sized beds and a bathtub looking out onto the forest. The camp is raised on a natural platform for open-air dining. Guests can sit around the cozy campfire at night and enjoy Bwindi’s crystal clear mountain sky.
Luxury Option: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge guests stay in their own cottage. Built of local volcanic stone, every cottage has a large sitting room with fireplace, vast overstuffed armchairs, and hand-woven carpets. Each individual cottage features the work of one of Uganda’s most respected artists.
Day 2 – Bwindi/Gorilla Tracking Day: Gorilla Trek (permits not included and not guaranteed until secured with full payment)!! After breakfast, take a short drive to park headquarters and meet with local guides and trackers who will instruct you on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. Afterward, hike to the point where the gorillas were seen the night before and begin your trek. The trekking can take from 1-to-6 hours and climb to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided, and it is important to take plenty of water. It can rain at a few minutes’ notice; hence waterproof clothing is essential, including zip lock bags for camera gear. Return to your lodge for your afternoon at leisure or arrange a community activity offered by your lodge/camp. Dinner and overnight at your lodge. (B, L, D, Dr)
Day 3 – Bwindi/Batwa Village Visit: After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Batwa tribe village tracking point for a visit to a Batwa Pygmy tribe village. The hike is steep, as they live high, high up in the mountains. It is a rare privilege to see this forgotten group of people. Only eight of the original Batwa remain in the village, and they are about four feet high and very nimble. The walk to their village is spiced with interesting information and anecdotes: the way the locals make banana gin, how they build their homes and the history of the Batwa. Alternatively, you can add a second gorilla trek today (permits not included and not guaranteed until secured with full payment)! Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight. (B, L, D, Dr)
Day 4 – Entebbe/Depart: After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kihihi airstrip (or Kisoro airstrip with the luxury option) for your scheduled flight back to Entebbe for lunch. Upon arrival, connect to your onward flight. (B, L)
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