Gorilla Trekking and Safari – Four / Five Day “Fly-In” Safari
Fly on a scheduled (daily) flight to Kihihi airstrip
Upon arrival at Kihihi, you’ll be met by a Wild Frontiers’ representative and driven to Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest; approximately one hour’s drive. There are a variety of optional activities that can be done this afternoon (time permitting), these include:
Forest Walk (Optional)
Embark on a walk through tropical rainforest with experienced wildlife guides. Enjoy scenic views, the sights and sounds of the rain forest, ample opportunities for bird watching and glimpses of the many monkey species living in the park as they move through the forest canopy.
Village Community Walk (Optional)
Embark on a community walk through the local villages surrounding Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Optional activities include visits to a traditional home, local orphanage or school, banana brewing demonstrations and even meeting traditional medicinal healers. This three to four hour walk is easily tailored to your individual schedule and interests.
Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to participate in one of these activities.
Bwindi National Park, located in south western Uganda on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, is considered the most diverse forest in Uganda. The area, one of the few large expanses of forest in East Africa, where lowland and mountain habitats meet, contains a dense ground cover of herbs, vines, and shrubs. Home to over 120 mammals, 345 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies, and 160 species of trees, Bwindi is one of the richest ecosystems in East Africa. The park contains almost one half of the world’s population of the endangered Mountain Gorilla, making it an extremely valuable conservation site. Bwindi is also home to several endangered bird species with very limited ranges, and acts as an important catchment area for many rivers, supplying water for agriculture in the surrounding region.
Buhoma Lodge commands spectacular and uninterrupted views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park home to the rare and elusive Mountain Gorilla. We offer a top quality, intimate lodge for our guests’ enjoyment in this area. Situated within the National Park, Buhoma Lodge is a short distance from the meeting point for gorilla tracking and other activities in the area.
Ten comfortable cottages have been carefully built, each with its own private veranda, allowing wonderful views of the forest canopy of the National Park. Inside the spacious cottages you will find comfortable beds, a well appointed en suite bathroom with flushing toilet and a hot shower and also some rooms with bath tubs. An elevated lounge area, complete with bar and dining facilities, offers a cosy, comfortable environment, to discuss the day’s activities around the fireplaces which add atmosphere and warmth in the cool evenings.
As part of our commitment as an organization with a responsible tourism policy we have designed the lodge using sustainable local materials where possible, with the emphasis being on natural products, which has in turn given support to the local communities and businesses. Supplies are obtained from as nearby as possible from local sources and staff are also generally recruited locally and trained on site. Our water supply is gravity fed and solar power is used for lighting with power points limited to a central area allocated for recharging cameras and videos.
Meals are freshly prepared with many local ingredients, offering a balance of international and locally flavoured cuisine with meals being of several courses. Our bar has a selection of local and imported beverages and our friendly local staff will attend to your needs.
Hot beverages are available throughout the day on a self service basis, but, are delivered to your cottage with early morning wake up calls as required, allowing you to awake gently and savour the early morning sounds of the forest.
Gorilla Tracking – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Following breakfast at the lodge, travel to National Park Headquarters to meet your guides for the day and begin your gorilla tracking experience. Experienced guides and trackers will accompany your party on an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on the mountain slopes.
The journey, through dense foliage and up steep climbs, is abundantly rewarded with the lifetime experience of viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. You will have an opportunity to be within meters of these magnificent apes, sharing in their daily lives and experiencing their day-to-day activities. Mountain gorillas are extremely rare with only an estimated 880 remaining in the wild. This is an experience you won’t soon forget!
Following the trek, return to the lodge and, if time allows, take a guided afternoon forest or community walk. Please note: tracking may be fairly strenuous with treks up to six hours or longer, at high altitudes, not uncommon.
Also, mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However viewing success rates are over 90%.
Overnight at Buhoma Lodge
After an early breakfast, we depart the rainforest and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park and the rich savannah plains of the Ishasha region. Time permitting, during our drive from Bwindi to Ishasha, we may visit a Community Project on the border of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Here the local people allow you to enjoy some time in their homesteads, as well as see some of the crops and curios they produce, and visit the local elephant trench project – which stops elephants coming into the village and raiding crops.
Queen Elizabeth National Park spreads over 1,978 sq km in the western arm of the Great Rift Valley and is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds. With both a riverine and savannah habitat, the park includes the southern Ishasha area with its tree climbing lions and Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda. The northern Mweya area, traversed by the equator and dominated by the scenery of crater lakes, is often occupied by large flocks of flamingos. A boat trip from Mweya along the Kazinga Channel, which joins Lakes Edward and George, provides one of the most memorable experiences offered by the park.
The Ishasha area of Queen Elizabeth National Park is rich with wildlife including warthog, water buck, bush buck, leopard, Ugandan kob, elephants, countless bird species and even the rare giant forest hog. The Ishasha sector of the park is known for its famous tree climbing lions sometimes found lying about in the branches of the native fig trees.
Overnight at Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Ishasha Wilderness Camp is situated inside the Southern Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park on the Ntungwe river, and is an idyllic retreat for people who truly enjoy the wilderness. This exclusive camp offers quality accommodation and services in this unspoilt remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park famous for its tree climbing lions that can sometimes be spotted resting in the branches of the large fig trees in the area.
Each of the ten spacious framed canvas rooms, situated in the wooded area besides the river, is comfortably furnished and with large mosquito netted beds, its own private en suite bathroom and dressing area providing running water, hot water ‘bush’ showers and a flushing eco-friendly toilet.
A central lounge and dining area, under a cool thatched roof, provides a comfortable environment for meals and relaxing during the day. A shaded area beside the river offers al fresco dining and an evening ‘fireplace’ for guests to relax with sundowners and share their day’s experience.
As the camp is within the National Park, we have designed it to be as low impact as possible with low usage of water, power and other resources. Solar power is used for lighting with power points limited to a central area allocated for recharging cameras and videos.
Meals are freshly prepared with many local ingredients, offering a balance of international and locally flavoured cuisine with all meals being of several delicious courses. Our bar has a selection of local and imported beverages and our friendly local staff will attend to your needs.
Hot beverages are available throughout the day on a self-service basis, and are delivered to your tent with early morning wake up calls as required, allowing you to savour the early morning sounds of the ‘bush’ awakening.
Note: It is possible to include an additional day in Ishasha on this itinerary, making it a 5-day fly-in safari. Please request this option on our web enquiry form.
Depart Queen Elizabeth National Park and travel to Kihihi for your return flight to Entebbe. End of our services.
If you plan to spend additional time in Uganda, this safari can be tailored to your wishes to include some of the many activities available in Entebbe and throughout Uganda. You could explore Kampala; visit Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre; have a luxury sunset boat cruise on Lake Victoria or take a short trip to Jinja, the Adventure centre of East Africa, offering grade 5 white water rafting, quad biking and bungee jumping!