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Uganda & Gorillas Overland


Route map for Uganda & Gorillas Overland (DUUG)

Day 1-2 Kampala (1B,2L,2D)

Approximate Distance: 431 km
Estimated Travel Time: 9 hrs

The journey begins early in the morning (6am) as we travel west towards Lake Edward to Queen Elizabeth National Park, with Uganda's largest wildlife populations. Here embark on both morning and afternoon game drives on Day 2, with hopes of catching glimpses of buffalo, hippo, elephant, lion, and the elusive leopard. For a different perspective, you may also opt for a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel.

The 1,978 sq. km Queen Elizabeth National Park is characterized by open savannah, large areas of swamp around Lake George, the extensive Maramagambo Forest in the southeast, and the forested Kyambura Gorge along the border with Kyambura Game Reserve.

Day 3-6 Gorilla Tracking/Lake Bunyonyi (4B,4L,4D)

Approximate Distance: 201 km
Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs

We travel south through gorgeous countryside to Lake Bunyonyi, our base for several days in the area. Our time in this lush, magical, mountainous region of Uganda is spent between enjoying the area of Lake Bunyonyi and many activities that it has to offer, and an unforgettable guided trek deep into the forest-sloped volcanoes for a wild encounter of a family of mountain gorillas (Gorilla Permits Included). Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the home to approximately half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, the world's most endangered ape. One of Africa's major highlights, a close encounter with these amazing animals is simply breathtaking.

Ugandan authorities are fiercely protective of this natural treasure and currently permit only a maximum of 8 people per day to visit a given gorilla family. As such, the group will be split into different sub-groups for the trek, and depending on the amount of travellers there are total, different sub-groups may do their trek on different days. In the morning of your trek, you will drive in smaller vehicles to park office and meet with your local mountain guides and porters, who can carry your personal items and assist you during the trek. The guides will brief you on the etiquette of gorilla trekking, after which, you set off into the forest. The trek can take from one to six hours and can exceed altitudes of 2500m. The terrain is rough and at times muddy and slippery. It is very important to bring along plenty of water. It can rain in a few minutes notice; hence waterproof clothing is essential along with protective bags for your camera and film.

Approximately 98% of the gorilla treks are successful but there is no guarantee that you will see the gorillas as they are constantly on the move.

For the rest of your time in the area, you will have the chance to go swimming, fishing, or canoeing on the lake; visit the local community; or rent a mountain bike to explore the area, among other activities offered by the camp where we stay. The area of Lake Bunyonyi is extremely peaceful and is a nature lover's paradise.

While at Lake Bunyonyi, you may be offered the chance to visit 'Little Angels Orphanage'. G Adventures does not endorse this activity as we feel this experience does more harm than good to the children.

Many orphanages rely almost entirely on donations from visitors to survive, and as such, directors may purposefully maintain poor living conditions for children to secure funds from visitors. By visiting orphanages and making a donation you may be fueling this system, and G Adventures thus advises against both visiting and donating to the aforementioned orphanage.

Day 7 Lake Mburo National Park (1B,1L,1D)

Approximate Distance: 230 km
Estimated Travel Time: 5.30 hrs

A scenic journey takes us to Lake Mburo National park, to continue our nature and wildlife encounters in one of Uganda's most precious locations. After arriving to the park and having lunch, we continue for a game drive passing through the acacia woodland in search of the diverse resident wildlife. If time allows, you can even go for a nature walk or take a boat trip on one of the lakes, with hopes of spotting hippos, crocodiles, and a variety of waterbirds. We finish the day camping on the shores of the lake listening to the sounds of the African wilderness.

Lake Mburo National Park is a nature lover's paradise, as the park consists of open plains, forested woodland, and five lakes. It is the best place in the country to see the gigantic eland antelope and has about 68 different species of mammals. The common ones are zebra, impala, buffalo, topi, not to leave out the rare sightings of roan antelope, as well as sitatunga antelope and red, black and yellow papyrus gonalek. Leopard, hyenas and jackals are all predators of this region.

The lake is rich with a diversity of animal and plant species which can only be viewed clearly if you take a boat trip. The crocodiles, hippopotamuses and birds like Pelicans, Black crake, Heron, cormorant, fish eagle, you may also sight the rare Shoebill Stork and all these will furnish your visit with pride.

Day 8 Depart Kampala (1B,1L)

Approximate Distance: 190 km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs

Today we head back towards Kampala, where your trip ends upon arrival.

With a population nearing 1,210,000, Kampala is the largest city in Uganda. It is located in the district of Kampala at 3,900 ft (1,189 m) above sea level. Before the arrival of the British, the Buganda King, the Kabaka, had chosen the area that was to become Kampala as one of his favorite hunting grounds. The area was made up of numerous rolling hills and lush wetlands. It was an ideal breeding ground for various antelopes - particularly the Impala. When the British arrived they called the area the Hills of the Impala.

The Baganda, eager to adopt foreign words into the local language, translated "hill of the Impala" into Luganda as "kasozi k' Impala" (pronounced "ka Impala" and eventually "ka mpala"). So whenever the Kabaka left his palace to go to hunt his favorite game, royal courtiers would say "the Kabaka has gone to Kampala to hunt" and thus name stuck.