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© Olaf Tamm

Gorillas and Lions

Uganda Flying Safari - 7 Days

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Brief Itinerary

Experience the sunrise over the African savannah as you float in a hot air balloon, track the chimps in a sunken rainforest and seek out tree-climbing lions in huge fig trees on the Ishasha Plains. Then fly over the misty valleys of Uganda’s ancient rainforest, home to the rare mountain gorillas. Track these iconic creatures from your lodge, nestled on the edge of the rainforests with panoramic views of the Virunga volcanoes stretching across the horizon.

Highlights

- Track a rare mountain gorilla family in the Impenetrable Forest.
- Includes savannah, water and hot air balloon safaris.
- Seek out tree-climbing lions on Ishasha Plains.
- Relax in exclusive savannah bush camps and a rainforest lodge.
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Welcome to the 'Pearl of Africa'

Welcome to Uganda, the ‘Pearl of Africa’! On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will find your Savannah Wings representative waiting to greet you. They will then drive you to your accommodation for the night a short distance away. Here you’ll be able to relax and sleep before you begin your safari tomorrow.

Tonight's Accommodation - The Boma, Entebbe town.

Day 1 - Rolling Savannah Plains

After breakfast you’ll be driven 20km north to Kajjansi airstrip, to board your private aircraft. The scenic flight takes 1hr 30mins over the shores of Lake Victoria, banana plantations and African bush to the heart of Queen Elizabeth NP. Take a leisurely lunch overlooking the Kazinga Channel with the sound of hippo pods calling and herds of buffalo on the riverbanks. In the mid afternoon board a private boat for a safari along the Kazinga Channel to the edge of Lake Edward. This is a prime way to view a variety of wildlife such as crocodiles and hippo pods but also give an intimate view to observe elephants, waterbuck, Uganda kob and buffalo coming down to drink and cool off. On your return to dry land drive through the African bush to your retreat perched on the escarpment overlooking the savannah.

Tonight's Accommodation - Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Queen Elizabeth NP.

Day 2 - Hot Air Balloon Safari

Rise before the sun does to set off for a very special kind of safari. You’ll head into the savannah skies in a hot air balloon to float over the plains as the sun breaks over the horizon. Depending on the prevailing winds you’ll view the Kazinga Channel, Lakes Edward and George with the chance to spot herds of elephants and buffalos with the backdrop of the Rwenzori Mountains. Flights can last anywhere from one to one and half hours until you land for a bush breakfast. Take a game drive back to the lodge, where you can while away the rest of the day with views over the gorge and savannah from the infinity pool or unwind with a massage. By late afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to drive back into the African bush for a dusk game drive or you can watch the sunset from the comfort of your lodge.

Tonight's Accommodation - Kyambura Gorge Lodge, Queen Elizabeth NP.

Day 3 - Chimps in a Sunken Rainforest

This morning explore Kyambura Gorge and its sunken rainforest. The gorge contains its own rainforest ecosystem in which you will be tracking the chimpanzees. After a briefing from your guides you’ll descend along the forest paths into the gorge to search for these illusive creatures. If you manage to track them down you can spend an hour with the chimps before to climb out of the gorge onto the savannah plains. After a leisurely lunch you’ll drive south through Maramagambo Forest to reach Ishasha Plains of Queen Elizabeth NP. Take a dusk game drive across the plains before ending the day at a secluded spot to enjoy some refreshments as you watch the sunset light up the savannah. Once the sun has set, return to your exclusive camp to spend the evening relaxing to the sounds of the African bush.

Tonight's Accommodation - Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Queen Elizabeth NP.

Day 4 - Tree-climbing Lions

Depart early on a morning game drive to view the hyenas who live close by to your camp, before stopping of for a bush breakfast. Continue your game drive to find the most famous resident of Ishasha Plains, the tree-climbing lion. Seek them out in the huge fig trees as they laze away in the shade, away from the heat of the day. You will then take flight from Kihihi airstrip over the mist filled valleys of the Bwindi Impenetrable NP to Kisoro town airstrip, a 20min flight. Drive up a winding road to your remote lodge, on the edge of parks rainforest, a UNESCO world heritage site. Spend the remainder of the day relaxing at your lodge with the sounds of the African rainforest and stunning views to the west as the sunsets across the Virunga volcanoes.

Tonight's Accommodation - Clouds Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable NP.

Day 5 - Gorillas in the Mist

Experience Uganda’s greatest natural wonder, an intimate meeting with one of Bwindi Impenetrable NP’s gorilla families. Start early with an orientation from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) rangers on tracking the gorillas, before they guide you through the rainforest. They’ll identify the local plants, birds and wildlife as well the general ecosystem of Bwindi Impenetrable NP for you. The trek length varies, depending on where the gorillas spent the night, ranging thirty minutes to six hours. Once you find these incredible creatures you will spend one hour with them. We think you’ll agree it’s one of the most magical experiences you can have with nature to see this unique family feed, socialise, nurse their young, patrol and display their prowess. After which make the return trek to your lodge to spend a sedate evening unwinding at your cottage, complete with a roaring fire and your personal butler present to attend to you.

Tonight's Accommodation - Clouds Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable NP.

Day 6 - Volcano Panorama

This morning you have the option of tracking a different gorilla family in the rainforest or you can head down to one of the region's idyllic highland lakes, Lake Mutanda. Here you can spend a day exploring the lake, it’s abundant birdlife, and has views of the now extinct volcanoes Mt. Gahinga ‘the Small Pile of Stones’, Mt. Sabyinyo ‘the Old Man’s Teeth’ and Mt. Muhavura 'the Guide'. You can also take the opportunity to visit the local community around your lodge to learn about the traditions and customs of the region. By dusk return to your lodge for your final evening at the rainforest and unwind under the star-laden skies.

Tonight's Accommodation - Clouds Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable NP.

Day 7 - Returning Home

After breakfast savour your last few hours at the rainforest before you transfer back to Kisoro town airstrip. Then fly back to Kajjansi airstrip a 1hr 30min flight, where your Savannah Wings representative will be waiting to take you to your accommodation. You’ll be provided with a day room to prepare you for your flight home this evening. Before dinner and your flight, drive down to the lakeshores for a boat cruise around the inlets and bays, with light refreshments served to you as you watch the sunset over Lake Victoria.

Day Room - The Boma, Entebbe town.

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The Boma

The Boma is Entebbe's original and most exclusive hotel, set in tropical gardens in a leafy suburb, just a few minutes drive from Entebbe International Airport. The rooms combine the modern comforts one expects today with the charm and character of the original 1940's home.

Your Room
Each of the rooms at The Boma are individually decorated in a mixture of African and European décor, and have been designed to reflect the original colonial architecture. Each room is complete with a four-poster bed with mosquito net, safe, satellite TV, en suite bathroom facilities and your own private veranda.

Facilities
• Wi-Fi throughout the guesthouse.
• Swimming pool.
• 24-hour reception services.
• Fully stocked bar.
• Safe in each room.

The official lodge website - The Boma

Kyambura Gorge Lodge

An eclectic contemporary lodge perched on an escarpment over looking savannah plains. The main lodge building was originally a coffee store and processing plant, surrounded by coffee plantations. The original structure has been sensitively restored to create a stunning and contemporary living space, balancing the history of the building with a series of distinct luxurious spaces for guests to relax.

Your Room
The beautiful bandas have each been nestled into the hillside with their eco-luxury comforts including four-poster beds, tasteful furnishings and en-suite bathrooms. Each room is completed with a secluded veranda with a seat swing with unbroken views of the savannah.

Facilities
• Wi-Fi in main lodge building.
• Infinity pool with views across the savannah.
• Fully stocked bar and restaurant.
• On site massage service.
• Day spa.
• Safe in each room.

The official lodge website - Kyambura Gorge Lodge

Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Situated on Ishasha plains by the Ntungwe river, is an idyllic retreat for people who truly enjoy the wilderness. 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.

Your Room
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, own private en suite bathroom and dressing area, hot water ‘bush’ showers and a flushing eco-friendly toilet.

Facilities
• Wi-Fi in main lodge building.
• Fully stocked bar.
• Fireplace under the stars.
• Safe in each room.

The official lodge website - Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Clouds Lodge

Clouds Lodge is an award-winning lodge nestled on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The lodge has an open plan main building complete with fireplace, high wooden beams but cosily furnished. With intimate cottages for each of the residents with views across to the rainforest and lakes to the Virunga Volcanoes, which emit a red glow throughout the night.

Your Room Each of the private cottages is built out of local volcanic stone, with a large sitting room complete with fireplace, vast overstuffed armchairs, and hand-woven carpets. Each bedroom is complete with four poster bed, tastefully furnished and has en suite bathrooms.

Facilities
• Personal Butler.
• Fully stocked bar.
• Wi-Fi in main lodge building.
• Safe in each room.

The official lodge website - Clouds Lodge

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