Uganda - Birds and Gorillas
In colonial times, Uganda was regarded as the most beautiful and potentially the richest country in East Africa. Winston Churchill once referred to Uganda as the “Pearl of East Africa”. However, the devastating rule of Milton Obote and Idi Amin between 1962 and 1986 brought this once prosperous country into disrepute, chaos and anarchy. Thankfully, those days are long gone now. Since President Museveni took over in 1986, the country entered a truly remarkable period of peace and rapid economical recovery. Today, Uganda is regarded as one of the safest and friendliest countries on the African continent. Not surprisingly, the once crushed important tourist industry has rejuvenated phenomenally in recent years, regaining its international status and attention.
Straddling the Equator, Uganda offers an incredibly rich variety of tropical habitats, unparalleled to any other African country. Those range from the rolling savannas, impressive pristine rainforests, lakes of oceanic proportions (Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa) and extensive marshes of Papyrus reed beds to snow-clad mountains (the Ruwenzori Mountains are the highest in Africa). It is also from here that the world's longest river, the Nile, starts its journey from Lake Victoria to the Mediterranean Sea. The most valuable and unspoiled habitats in Africa are embraced here by the protection of 10 national parks.
There are not many areas in Africa that can match Uganda’s astounding diversity of habitats. This richness is reflected in the bird list of over 1000 species, representing more than half of the bird species found in the whole of Africa and over 10% of the world bird list.
There are 28 globally threatened species of which one is endemic to Uganda: Fox’s Weaver. Although Uganda is poor in endemic species, it shares all species recorded from East and Central Africa. Out of the 38 species of birds confined to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo in the Albertine Rift Endemic Area, Uganda hosts 24. The African Green Broadbill, African Green-breasted Pitta, Rwenzori Turaco are spectacular endemics of the Albertine Rift that are almost impossible to find elsewhere in the whole of Africa but can be easily seen in Uganda. Also here, the bizarre and most sought after Shoebill is most easily accessible in comparison to the inaccessible swamps of southern Sudan and central Zambia, where it also occurs.
In addition, Uganda, has the highest diversity of primates in the world. The country is home to 340 Mountain Gorillas of the 700 remaining worldwide and offers the best Gorilla viewing in Africa. Similarly, once abundant throughout the entire equatorial zone, Chimpanzees, can be found here. Their populations are isolated and fragmented, but Uganda is still a strongfold for this species.
Needless to say, the beautiful and dramatic scenery, variety of terrain, unspoiled nature and encounters with the most sought after wildlife on Earth, will make your visit to Uganda the most intense and rewarding experience of Africa. Travelling is made all the more pleasant thanks to the temperate climate. Although Uganda straddles the Equator, the temperature remains around 26oC (75oF) all year round due to its high elevation and the protective barrier of the Rwenzori Mountains, which keeps the humidity low. Accommodation is of a high standard and meals are carefully chosen to add to this wonderful experience. An experienced local guide will accompany us throughout the trip and other guides and rangers with local expertise will also be hired at some places.
Gorilla permits are strictly limited in number and issued on a first-come, first-served basis. There are only eight permits per group per day and once this limit is reached (often many months in advance), no further permits are available for that day. February is one of the best months to visit, so please do book early to avoid disappointment. Viewing is limited to one hour per gorilla group per day and a distance of minimum 5 metres (15 feet) must be kept from the gorillas. Please bear in mind that very occasionally, despite the best efforts of the tracker- guides, the gorillas can prove elusive and are not seen. If you are indecisive about the tracking, please do phone me for a reassurance.Detailed Itinerary Booking Info
30 January - 11 February 2017
Arrival to Entebbe
Murchison Falls National Park
Kibale National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Lake Mburo National Park
Mabamba Swamps in the morning before our evening departure
The Price Includes
all accommodation on a shared basis
all evening meals and lunches
the entry fee for the parks and Government Taxes
fee for the game drives, forest guiding walks, all excursions and activities while on the trip and transfers by vehicle and boats
The Price Does Not Include
scheduled return flight from Great Britain to Entebbe. A group booking, however, will be made and you will deal with the travel agent directly. Alternatively, you can make your own arrangements
all items of a personal nature and alcoholic drinks
flight cancellation, baggage and medical insurance
visa to enter Uganda
Gorilla and Chimpanzee permits
all passengers must cover themselves against flight cancellation, luggage loss and medical costs for the duration of their trip (proof of which must be provided with your final payment)
deposit of £500 to secure your tour and extra for gorilla tracking, if applicable, is required at the time of booking. The final payment is required by 1 November