4 days from £1795pp plus international flights.
This holiday is ideal if you have limited time yet want to spend time with mountain gorillas. Most gorilla trekking trips in Uganda travel overland, but this itinerary includes return flights from Entebbe to Bwindi, making the very best of your time.
Ask anyone who has trekked to see the mountain gorillas and they'll tell you it's an unforgettable experience, on a par with any wildlife encounter. Being so close to wild animals, let alone ones that share almost 98% of out DNA, is awe-inspiring, and watching the interplay between them gives a real insight into their individual natures. The playfulness of juveniles is especially engaging, while the size and dominance of the silverback is unmistakable.
While meeting the gorillas is the undoubted highlight of this holiday, you'll also have the chance to go for walks with a guide in the forest, looking out for birds and butterflies, learning about the diverse flora, and marvelling at tumbling waterfalls and forest viewpoints.
You'll be staying in a spacious stone and thatch bungalow with a private terrace overlooking the forest. The main lodge has a comfy lounge complete with a collection of reference books, bar, dining area and deck, and the friendly staff make you feel at home.
Your flight arrives into Entebbe, where you'll be met by a representative from the guesthouse for the short drive (about 10 minutes) to your overnight accommodation. The Boma Guesthouse is a small, family-run property in a quiet setting, ideal for unwinding after your journey. You can walk in the gardens, have a relaxing swim in the pool, and enjoy a drink at the residents' bar. There's a restaurant so you can dine on the premises if you wish this evening.
After an early breakfast you'll be driven back to the airport for the early morning flight to Kihihi airstrip in Western Uganda, which takes about an hour. From here it's about an hours' drive to your lodge, Mahogany Springs, on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. You'll arrive in time for lunch and then have the afternoon free. Relax in the lounge where there's a selection of books and games, or out on the terrace with views of the forest. If you feel more active you can accompany a guide on a walk in the forest, a good introduction to the plants and flowers which include colourful orchids, and the many species of birds. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
This is the day you've been waiting for! You travel the short way to the national park offices where you meet your trekking guide for a briefing and to learn which gorilla family you're tracking. The walk to find them can take anything between 1 and 4 hours, and in places the ground may be steep and muddy. The effort soon pales into insignificance though as you catch your first glimpse of these amazing creatures. You'll have one hour to spend in their company, as they feed, interact and play. Buoyed up by the experience you walk back to the park headquarters and thence to the lodge. It's been quite a day! Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Enjoy breakfast on the terrace and, depending on your onward travel plans, you either take the early flight back to Entebbe or have the morning at the lodge and fly back in the early afternoon. The holiday ends at Entebbe airport. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £1795 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2017 Guide price pp sharing: April, May, Nov - £1795. Rest of the year £2030.
3 nights twin-share accommodation; transfers as specified; return flights Entebbe to Kihihi (max. weight 15kg in soft bag); transport to and from the gorilla trek; meals as specified; gorilla permit, AMREF flying doctors insurance
International flights and taxes; visa; travel insurance; meals not shown; drinks; optional activities; items of a personal nature; tips.
Getting there: This holiday starts and ends at Entebbe. Return flights from the UK will start at around £850 per person and we usually book these for you.
Departure dates: This is a tailor made itinerary that can begin on the day of your choice, subject to availability.
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Time: GMT +3 hours
Flight time: Direct from UK flights 3 times a week or daily via Nairobi.
Language: English is the official language, with Luganda and Swahili also widely spoken.
Visas: Visas are required for UK citizens which can be purchased on arrival at the airport. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months.
Health: No compulsary vaccinations but several are recommended and you should take malaria prophylactics.