Uganda – Mountain Gorilla Trip 15th – 26th Jan 2020
Uganda is one of my favourite countries; it has stunning countryside, friendly people and is stuffed full of wildlife. I first travelled there in search of the magnificent mountain gorillas. I had no idea of the incredible wealth the country had to offer.
The moment you arrive in Entebbe, the charm of the place hits you. Situated on the shores of Lake Victoria, it is a leafy, lazy place to find your feet. The hotel has a beautiful garden, full of flowers and colourful birds. It’s a great place to acclimatise.
One of the wonderful things about Uganda is its huge range of habitats and because it is a relatively small country, these changes happen quickly. The lowland swamp areas around Entebbe are home to the prehistoric looking shoebill. Reached by dug-out canoe, an early morning search for these huge blue birds is truly magical.
Then there is Kibale rainforest, where we trek for chimps; Queen Elizabeth National Park, where open savanna provides a home for elephants, big cats, many different antelope species and much more…. There is the stunning Fort Portal area where extinct volcanoes filled with water make up Uganda’s lake district. And then, of course, there is Bwindi. The air in Bwindi forest is so clean it’s exhilarating. You breathe the freshness; it makes you inhale to the very bottom of your lungs. The subtle power, the life force of the trees hits you the moment you enter. And everywhere there is moss, it drips from every bough, clings to the newest of trees. The ferns are enormous, they curl forth competing with the trees for light, they tower over you like huge umbrellas creating dappled shade on the forest floor. All this to a background of insects and birds and the constant babble of the river. The clear water making its way through the stones. There are waterfalls too, moss and ferns hanging improbably from their constantly wet stone sides. And all this before you have even seen the gorillas….
The accommodation is in a variety of incredible locations from jungle to escarpment. It is good quality, clean and comfortable with wonderfully helpful and happy staff. Dietary requirements catered for…
Meditation, yoga, movement and breathing practice is available throughout your trip…. I will do my best to guide you through whatever practice you would like to explore. I have years of experience in both well-being and mindfulness. I also, believe in having fun, not taking things too seriously & enjoying the moment….
“The air in Bwindi forest is so clean it’s exhilarating. You breathe the freshness, it makes you inhale to the very bottom of your lungs. The subtle power, the life force of the trees hits you the moment you enter. It makes me want to run down the narrow paths. There are steps made out of the roots of trees. Climbers that try and trip you up, spikey things that mean you have to watch where you place your hands… And everywhere there is moss, it drips from every bough, clings to the newest of trees. And the ferns are enormous, as they uncurl, they compete with the trees for light, they tower above me like huge umbrellas creating dappled shade on the forest floor. All this to a background of insects and birds and the constant babble of the river. The clear water making its way through the stones. There are waterfalls too, moss and ferns hanging improbably from their constantly wet stone sides.
Bwindi is magical, you know it even before you meet the gorillas….. Veering from the path, our guide cuts through the thick vegetation with his machete. Under foot the leaves on top of mud and rotting wood make the going slippery. The steep slope means a scramble up and a slide down. And then we are there among them. Our guide turns to brief us. I know I should be making eye contact with him and listening carefully but it’s so hard to concentrate when a full grown female mountain gorilla scales the tree behind me, munching leaves as she goes… Her pot belly silhouetted against the sky. Branches creek and crack under her weight. Totally ignoring us she carries on with her meal. Beneath her another female lies soporifically. Her tiny baby curiously poking out through the foliage, his bright clear eyes occasionally catch the light. I love the fatness of their hands and feet, they are squidgy looking. The skin not as soft as ours and grey, of course. I am always staggered by the blackness and fluffiness of mountain gorillas. There are two youngsters in the Mubare group. One is just 5 months old, the other 9. I am surprised at their smallness. The youngest never leaving his mother’s grasp. The elder only just taking a very few steps from his. This group has one silverback, Kanyonyi, the other adult members are all female. The silverback must be a pretty attractive proposition for he has purloined most of his ladies from other groups. The family are mostly resting when we come across them. The silverback close to his females.. All is calm. Then suddenly something frightens them. It is incredible how quickly they move, the females all rush to the silverback for protection. He is instantly alert and on guard. His massive bulk ready to defend. He stands up and beats his chest and the noise resounds through the forest. He means business. But it is nothing, this time. The mother with the youngest infant, clearly shaken, snuggles in to the huge male for reassurance. He embraces her, the gentlest of cuddles, their baby between them. They stay like that for a while and then he decides to move off through the forest leading his family away.
Bwindi has 350 bird species, 310 butterfly species and 324 tree species… At least 120 species of mammals, including 10 primate… The park ranges from lowland to afro-montane forest, a moist tropical forest that is unique in Uganda. It has remained like this for millions of years, thus Bwindi is a refuge for many species…. And I LOVE it….”
Cost – £3,000
Per person sharing twin room
Single supplement available.
Airport transfer on Day 1 and Day 11
Boat ride and Nature Walk at Lake Mburo NP
Game drive at Lake Mburo NP
Canoe ride at Lake Bunyonyi
Batwa Cultural Visit
Gorilla tracking permit (600$ pp)
Game drive in Ishasha Sector
Boat cruise in Kazinga Channel
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest NP
Bigodi Swamp Walk in Kibale Forest NP
Park entry fees
Full board accommodation
English speaking driver/guide
What’s not included
International flight ticket
Additional night in Entebbe before departure
Clients should take care of the Medical and Travel Insurance.
Yellow fever vaccination required
Hep A & B recommended
Category: Uganda, Wild Trips