Uganda Safari with Ron Magill

 

Day 1 – Saturday, June 4

Depart / En Route

Depart on an independent overnight flight en-route to Entebbe, Uganda.

Day 2 – Sunday, June 5

Entebbe

Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to the Protea Hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 3 – Monday, June 6

Entebbe / Murchison Falls National Park

Set out for Murchison Falls National Park. Descend the escarpment of the western corridor of the Great Rift Valley, enjoying fine views of Lake Albert. In the late afternoon, arrive at Paraa Lodge, located in the north west of Uganda. The lodge overlooks the Nile River on its journey from its source at Lake Victoria to join Lake Albert. Here the Nile is suddenly channeled into a gorge only 20 feet wide, and cascades 141 feet below. The earth literally trembles at Murchison Falls - one of the world's most powerful flows of natural water. Paraa Safari Lodge offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Each of the rooms is a haven of style and serenity, complete with balcony and private bathroom. The safari décor of the lodge still reflects the bygone era of early explorers, enshrined with a modern touch. The luxurious pool overlooks the winding River Nile below, which was the setting for the classic Hollywood movie The African Queen. Enjoy a variety of excursions and activities; from exhilarating safari drives to boat trips along the River Nile, ending at the foot of Murchison Falls. For the more adventurous, one can trek up to the top of the falls and marvel at the views through the mist. A variety of ecosystems and an impressive 451 species of birds awaits you. Spend three nights at Paraa Safari Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Tuesday, June 7

Murchison Falls National Park

Take the renowned launch journey on the Victoria Nile to the base of spectacular Murchison Falls, where the full force of the Nile is channeled into a narrow gorge just 20 feet wide. The wildlife along the river is exceptional: hundreds of hippos, large numbers of enormous crocodiles, a good chance of seeing elephants and vast numbers of birds. We may see one of the greatest rarities of all: the shoebill, a huge bird with a massive bill related to storks and herons. Drive to top of the falls for lunch, and take a walk for a great view of the falls.  (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Wednesday, June 8

Murchison Falls National Park

Explore the park’s northern sector. Wildlife, after the turmoil of the Amin years, is returning rapidly, and we look for elephant, lion, giraffe, sitatunga, Uganda kob, buffalo and a great deal more. We then take a boat to the Lake Albert Delta in search of shoebills, elephants and other wildlife. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Thursday, June 9

Murchison Falls National Park / Kibale Forest National Park

Travel to the Kibale Forest area, seeing beautiful, fertile land that supports a wealth of agriculture. Traverse the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains (the Mountains of the Moon), pass tea plantations and reach the Kibale Forest. The acclaimed Ndali Lodge is situated on a high saddle between two crater lakes, with breathtaking views of Lake Rukwanzi and mountain slopes planted with bananas. Rooms are decorated with local crafts and have four-poster beds. There is no electricity, but candles and oil lamps create the romantic feel of “old Africa.” (B, L,D)

Day 7 – Friday, June 10

Kibale Forest National Park

Spend the day in Kibale Forest with skilled researchers. This is an unforgettable experience for chimp enthusiasts and aspiring researchers. This involves staying with the chimps all day, with time to connect with the group and learn about their different characters and habits. This experience offers a real chance to develop fieldwork skills and learn about the behavioral research.  (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Saturday, June 11

Kibale Forest / Queen Elizabeth National Park

Visit Bigodi swamp, where there is excellent birding and where we look for monkeys, including black-and-white colobus, red colobus, mangabey, L’Hoest’s monkey and others. Birds of the area include some of the large, noisy members of the turaco family. In the afternoon we drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, passing the eastern slopes of the Ruwenzori Mountains — the Mountains of the Moon. They are usually covered in cloud, but if luck is with us we may see the glaciated peaks. We arrive at Queen Elizabeth National Park and Mweya Lodge, which is situated on a peninsula overlooking Lake Edward and Kazinga Channel with the Ruwenzoris as backdrop. Spend two nights at Mweya Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 9 – Sunday, June 12

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Enjoy game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of Africa’s premier national parks, known for its prolific wildlife. We look for elephant, buffalo, kob, waterbuck, bushbuck and predators including lion and leopard. Bird watching is remarkable, with about 600 species recorded. We’ll go by launch along the Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake George and Lake Edward, to view the large concentration of hippos. We’ll also visit a crater lake where salt is harvested for export to the Congo. (B,L,D)

Day 10 – Monday, June 13

Queen Elizabeth National Park / Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Drive to the less-visited Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the few places where lions regularly climb trees. We’ll look for them, along with a great deal of other wildlife. In the afternoon we drive to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, traversing the beautiful mountain landscapes known as the “Switzerland of East Africa.” We stay at the Mahogany Springs Lodge for two nights. The lodge is set back on the pristine waters of the Munyanga River and facing the Impenetrable forest the natural setting of Mahogany Springs is beyond imagination. The exotic gardens and intricately designed stone pathways leading to the river invite you to explore every corner of this magical place uncovering the various surprises along the way such as the home grown vegetable garden. The Superior Suites are spacious with large double doors and beautiful windows. Each Suite has its own private exquisitely designed terrace with panoramic views of the surrounding area. There are power plug in the rooms as well as a dressing table/desk. All suites have large en-suite bathrooms with a gorgeously designed open terracotta shower. For added comfort and peace of mind all the suites have an advanced mosquito net system that wraps around the entire area of the beds. Spend two nights at Mahogany Springs Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 11 – Tuesday, June 14

Gorilla Tracking / Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Enjoy a hike in search of endangered mountain gorillas in the company of outstanding local guides and trackers. The trekking is very taxing: it can take anywhere between one and six hours, and we may climb to altitudes of as much as 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. The chances of finding gorillas are excellent, and our reward is the chance to spend time with some of the most remarkable creatures on Earth. This may well be the most exhilarating natural history experience in the world. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a World Heritage Site, has other primates and excellent bird watching.  (B, L,D)

Day 12 – Wednesday, June 15

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park / Entebbe / En Route

Fly to Entebbe, where dayrooms are reserved at the Protea until the evening airport transfer. (B,L)

Day 13 – Thursday, June 16

Arrive