Gorillas, Chimpanzees and the Big Five

Most of us have grown up reading children´s book such as The Lion King, The Jungle Book or the stories of Bernhard Grzimek for example.Now you will have the chance to see all the great animals of Africa for yourself. This 2-week safari expedition is an unforgettable and unique combination of wildlife observation in contrasting ecosystems. Situated in the heart of Africa, Uganda’s volcanic mountains are one of the last refuges of the endangered mountain gorilla. Its rainforests also shelter chimpanzees and monkeys, making it the world’s best destination for primate trekking. Fewer than 800 wild mountain gorillas remain, and trekking them is one of the absolute safari highlights of Africa.Then travel from the rainforests in Uganda to the private protected areas at the foot of Mount Kenya where rhinos are still grazing in large herds and where you have the opportunity to encounter the Big Five and lots of other African wildlife. Join us in the footsteps of great nature filmmakers in East Africa.

Day 1 Arrival in Entebbe
On arrival at the airport, you will be warmly welcomed by your guide who will then transfer you to Kampala for the overnight stay at the Sojovalo Hotel. Breakfast is included.

Day 2 Kampala – Kibale Forest
After breakfast we will start our journey to the Kibale Forest National Park, where we will arrive in the early afternoon.This park is considered one of the most beautiful protected tropical rain forests in the whole of Uganda and it is specifically well-known as one of the best destinations in Africa for chimpanzee trekking. The National Forest has one of the highest diversity and concentration of primates in Africa, with 13 different species. Besides chimpanzees the park accommodates the rare L’Hoest’s monkey, Colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, bush babies and Grey cheeked mangabey´s. The park is also home to various other flora and fauna, including over 325 species of birds, 4 wild felids, a total of at least 60 other species of mammals, and over
250 tree species.We will spend the next 2 nights at the Chimpanzee Forest Guest House, where a lovely dinner and breakfast are included.

Day 3 Kibale Forest National Park
After breakfast you will go for Chimpanzee trekking in the forest, where you will have the chance to observe many other different species of birds and wildlife in addition. You will be back in time for a heartily lunch.
Later in the afternoon, you will have the opportunity of a guided walk through the Bigodi Swamp. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is managed by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental organizations formed in 1992 with the aim of achieving social and economic development for local communities. This wetland is home to approximately 137 bird species and is rich in vegetation, such as wild palms, polita figs and the dominant papyrus plant.

Day 4 Kibale – Bwindi
After breakfast, we will depart for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where we will be arriving in the afternoon.
The national park is old, complex and is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa. The diversity of the species is a feature of the park and it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its ecological importance. The park is probably most well-known for the endangered Mountain Gorillas that live here. It also provides habitat for many rare bird species that are endemic to the Albertine Rift,including the African Green Broadbill, Bar Tailed Trogon and other beautiful birds.The afternoon is free to relax and prepare for the Gorilla trekking the following morning or take a nature walk(at an extra cost of $20 per person), which leads to the Munyaga waterfall. Here you have the chance to observe primates such as the Grey cheeked mangabey, the Blue monkey and other species. This evening you will have diner and spend the night at the pleasant Buhoma Community Rest Camp, which is an excellent base for
your Gorilla trek.

Day 5 Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Breakfast will be very early this morning, after which you will depart on probably one of the most wonderful wildlife experiences on the planet. Mountain gorillas are a critically endangered species, with an estimated total population of about 650 individuals only!Bwindi national park is inhabited by a population of about 340 individuals, known as the Bwindi population.In guided groups of eight or fewer, visitors search for one of the four habituated Mountain Gorilla groups that are accustomed to human encounters. A visit with the gorillas lasts one hour. The permit that allows for visiting the gorillas should be applied for prior to your travel.Each group will receive a briefing from their ranger on how to behave with the gorillas.The strenuous treks to the gorillas usually take between two and three hours, but can take as long as four to eight hours depending on the movement of these forest giants at that particular day. The terrain is often steep and muddy, so a good physical condition is recommended. The rangers will take frequent breaks to give participants a chance to rest or take landscape photographs.After an exhausting but emotionally fulfilling day you will have a well-deserved dinner and overnight stay at the La Palme Hotel,based on full board.

Our expeditions also support gorilla conservation projects such as Claudia and Manfred Hochleitner´s “Endangered”.
We would also like to thank them for the photographic material of this webpage. For more information on their project,go to www.endangered.at

Day 6 Bwindi – Entebbe – Nairobi
After breakfast we will drive back to Entebbe, where you will catch your evening flight to Nairobi. Upon arrival in Nairobi you will be transferred to your guesthouse in the suburbs. You can choose for an optional dinner at an Indian restaurant.

Day 7 Transfer to the Rhino Watch Safari Lodge
After a leisurely breakfast, we will start the second part of our journey into Kenya´s central highlands. Several stops on our way to the Rhino Watch Lodge are planned for. We will enjoy lunch at the Tana River, where wild tilapia that is freshly caught by local fishermen will be prepared for us on the spot. We will also visit one of the numerous colorful fruit and vegetable markets,where regional farmers offer their fresh produce. At the end of the day we will arrive at the Rhino Watch Safari Lodge, which will be your accommodation for the week.

Day 8 Safari in the kingdom of the Rhinos
The Solio Game Reserve is a fenced, privately-owned wildlife conservancy geared towards rhino conservation.
There is no better place in the world to observe rhino. The park plays a major part in the protection and breeding of black rhinos in Kenya.Breeding has been so successful that rhino from Solio have stocked wildlife reserves all over Africa with young animals.A full day safari allows you plenty of time to observe these magnificent animals up close. Other wildlife except for elephants includes buffalo, zebra, giraffe, oryx, antelope, Thompson’s gazelle, impala, waterbuck and warthog.The park also offers some of the best leopard viewing in the country, and lion and cheetah can also be found.After spending the morning in the reserve we return to the lodge around lunchtime to secure the data of our memory cards and charge the batteries of our camera. In the afternoon around 4 o´clock we will head back to the Solio Reserve to capture the special sunset colors.

Then the darkness will slowly start falling around us. When the sun goes down an entire new set of animal species takes the stage and some of the most popular animals that may be seen by day increase their activity level at night. Use of a spotlight is an extremely efficient way to find animals because most animal eyes will reflect in the light. In between animal sightings enjoy the starry skies.With the nightly sounds of the African wilderness penetrating the darkness you will realize that wild Africa is so much more than just what you see. The night game safari ends around 9.30 pm. Upon return to the lodge a light meal will be awaiting us.

Day 9 Giraffe & bird watching
Located only 15 minutes from the Rhino Watch Lodge is a small private reserve which offers the opportunity to go on a game walk with giraffe, zebra and antelope. This is a truly wonderful experience to spend the morning. Back at the lodge you can spend the afternoon bird watching from a raised platform, allowing the observation of many bird species
that enjoy bathing in the nearby pond.

Day 10 The Aberdare National Park
The Aberdare National Park contains a wide range of impressive landscapes and is home to a great variety of wildlife.
The main ecosystems within the mountain range are rainforest, one of the last intact rain forest refuges in Africa, giving way to dense bamboo forests and then moorland. Some wildlife more easily observed is the forest elephant, buffalo, the giant forest hog and some of the big cats, including the leopard! . The park also contains a large population of black rhino.The crystal clear mountain streams are teeming with trout. And even the bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds observed.

Day 11 Relax!
Today is a free day at the lodge to relax from a wonderful, but intensive few days and to spend at your own leisure. Go for a nice stroll on the property, enjoy some bird watching, or read a book in our comfortable, quiet library while enjoying some refreshments on the veranda.

Day 12 Safari in Ol Pejeta Game Reserve
Ol Pejeta is a mosaic of grass plains, wooded grassland, Acacia woodland and evergreen thicket extending for over 350 squarekilometers. This extraordinary reserve is East Africa’s Largest Black Rhino Sanctuary. Besides black AND white rhino, the park boasts an astounding variety of wildlife including non-indigenous chimpanzees that can be visited in the Sweetwater chimpanzee sanctuary,the Big Five, Grevy’s zebra and some of the highest predator densities in Kenya.The combination of amazing wildlife and stunning views across the open plains will guarantee you an unforgettable safari experience.

Day 13 More rhinos
Another full day game drive in the Solio Game Reserve is planned for today. Rhinos, but hopefully also lion, leopard and cheetah amongst other wildlife will be observed.

Day 14 Departure
An unforgettable safari holiday has come to an end already. Today you will be transferred back to Nairobi to catch your flight back home.Für alle die Ostafrika weiter erlenben möchten, bieten wir verschiedene Verlängerungsprogramme an. Es bieten sich Kurzsafaris in den Samburu Park oder in das Paradies der Flamingos am Lake Bogoria an.

Rates*

US $ 3.290.- per person
US $ 2.399.- per child up to and including 11 years of age, accommodated with the parents.

* Note: prices are based upon a minimum of 4 people.
For an additional payment we can offer this safari expedition for 2 persons.

Ruanda und Uganda

Rates are inclusive of:
• All transfers.
• All meals and accommodations as per itinerary
• All transportation in a comfortable off-road vehicle
• Experienced and knowledgeable guide
• Water, coffee or tea while on safari
• All excursions as stated in the program above.

Not included:
• All flights
• Gorilla trekking permit (US$ 500 per permit in Uganda)
• Visa fees (US$ 50 in Uganda)
• National Park entrance fees
• Travel insurance
• Optional activities
• Additional meals and beverages
• Gratuities
• Personal expenses

Kenya

Rates are inclusive of:
• All transfers.
• One night full board in a guest house in Nairobi.
• Seven nights full board in an exclusive safari tent at the Rhino Watch Safari Lodge.
• Meals as per itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, P = picnic, D = dinner)
• All excursions as stated in the program above.

Not included:
• All flights
• Visa fees (US$ 50)
• National park entrance fees
• Travel insurance
• Additional meals and beverages
• Gratuities
• Personal expenses

Important information!
Gorilla trekking is dependent on the availability of permits at the time of booking.
The permits in all parks are highly in demand and they are not easily obtained, therefore we advise you to book as
early as possible. The minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years old, as mandated by the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

We offer various possibilities to extend your stay with. Join us for example to the Samburu Plains.The Samburu National Reserve is situated on the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro River. It is one of the lesser-known national parks,but is nevertheless teeming with life, including large herds of elephants. Also Lake Bogoria and Baringo make for an exciting game safari.These are two of several lakes in the spectacular Rift Valley, which are home to a fascinating fauna.It is truly a bird watcher´s paradise with over 400 recorded bird species in the area.

For bookings or inquiries please contact us and let us know your wishes and requirements.