Tree Climbing Lions and Gorillas - ACU&R7


Day 1: Entebbe – Ishasha (Queen Elizabeth National Park) – App. 7 hours’ drive
Meet at the airport, assist through customs and check in for your domestic flight to Kihihi airstrip (Departs Entebbe @ 7:00 AM & 12:30 PM, Check in time - one hour in advance). Note that flight schedules are subject to change. On arrival at Kihihi airstrip, meet the guide and drive to the lodge (30 minutes’ drive). After lunch, head out on an afternoon game drive. The Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park is the place to search for the tree climbing lions often to be seen in the vicinity of the camp which is situated just off the Northern circuit game viewing track. Meals and overnight accommodation at the camp.

Day 2: Ishasha Exploration (full day).
Together with your guide, head out for a full day exploration of Ishasha sector. You will have a lunch break and as the day’s heat go down, head out for an afternoon encounter with Big game in this part of Queen Elizabeth National park. The area is still pristine and untouched with only a handful of game vehicles found around the area at any time. Large herds of buffalo are common in Ishasha, as are Uganda Kob. You might also see elephant, waterbuck, bushbuck and topi. Nearby River Ishasha hosts the largest hippo population in the world. The ‘super stars’ of the area are the tree climbing lions that can regularly be seen snoozing on a limb on one of the fig trees. Tree-climbing lions are rare – there are actually only two populations in the world – one is found here in Ishasha, the other in Lake Manyara, Tanzania. It is believed that these lions climb trees as a way to protect themselves from the biting tsetse flies; others believe the lions climb the tree to escape the stifling heat on the ground and catch a cool breeze. Also unique to Ishahas’s lions – their manes are black. Meals and overnight accommodation at the camp.

Day 3: Ishasha (Queen Elizabeth – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
After Breakfast, start for Bwindi keeping an eye out for more game. Arrive at the Lodge early afternoon, relax around the lodge or take a village walk around Buhoma area with a visit to craft shops, local schools, hospital and later enjoy entertainment by the local community/Orphan group. Meals and Overnight at the Lodge.

Day 4: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Tracking takes 3 to 10 hrs.
There is an early morning entry into a gorilla sanctuary. The rainforest is spectacular, heavily vegetated and dense landscape crisscrossed by numerous animal trails, allowing access for trekkers. This park is best known for the fascinating Gorillas, where the time taken and terrain varies according to the movements of these fantastic apes. The thrill of spending time with and observing these gentle giants is a rare and moving adventure that will leave you with long lasting memories of a truly unique experience. The Gorillas are shy and peaceful animals and it is an unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact with each other, return to the lodge in the afternoon. Meals and overnight at the Lodge.

Day 5: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - Parc des Volcans.
An early start for Rwanda , with stops on the way for amazing views of the Volcanoes. Proceed to the border, go through customs and cross to Rwanda. Drive to Parc des Volcans with views of the great, old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest. Meals and Accommodation at the Lodge.

Day 6: Gorilla Tracking in Parc des Volcans. Tracking takes 3 to 6 hrs.
Early morning transfer to the park headquarters for a briefing by the park staff. Loaded with your drinking water, packed lunch and walking stick, enter the forest in search for the famous Mountain Gorillas. The trail into the forest, will abruptly immerse you in the mysterious intimacy of the rainforest – Home to the Gorillas. An exhilarating Gorilla trek through the cultivated foothills of the Virungas can be muddy and challenging but offers a Great experience. Alive with the calls of Gorillas you will spend an hour before sloping back to the base. As you slope, through gaps in the forest canopy, the magnificent peaks, among the highest in Africa are glimpsed. Meals and Accommodation at the Lodge.

Day 7: Departure via Kigali airport.
Start for Kigali, time permitting have a short tour of the city including a visit to genocide memorial, handicraft shops and later to the airport for your international flight. Depending on your flight schedule, you may need a day’s room to freshen-up before your flight (on payment of supplement). Please book return flights departing after 1pm.

Accomodation
We don’t restrict on where to stay as this entirely depends on guest preference and budget. Please see below and get in touch for more options and discounted quotes.
Lion Range (Luxury): Ishasha Wilderness Camp, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp /Bwindi Lodge/Clouds lodge/Chameleon Hill, Virunga Lodge/Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.
Pride Range (midrange): Ishasha Jungle loge, Silverback Lodge /Mahogany springs/Gorilla Safari lodge/Mutanda Lake Resort, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge.


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