Arrive at any time. Pick up any extra supplies you need before your tour at one of the many markets, and try to be a the hotel in time for your welcome meeting, which will be held early evening. Look for a welcome note upon arrival to your hotel. 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.
Approximate Distance: 431 km Estimated Travel Time: 9 hrs Travel west towards Lake Edward to Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to Uganda's largest wildlife populations. Here, embark on both morning and afternoon game drives, with hopes of catching glimpses of buffalo, hippo, elephant, lion, and the elusive leopard. For a different perspective, enjoy an included 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.
Approximate Distance: 201 km Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs We travel south through gorgeous countryside to Kabale, 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 Kabale 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, hit up the gym or go on optional activities at Lake Bunyonyi. There are several options to choose from: fishing. canoeing on the lake, visiting the local community, renting a mountain bike to explore the area, etc. The area of Lake Bunyonyi is extremely peaceful and is a nature lover's paradise. While at Kabale, 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. Please note the Cephas campsite in Kabale has a swimming pool, gym, sauna and bar available for travellers.
Approximate Distance: 140 km? Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs?? Mbarara is situated in the Western region of Uganda, 295 Kilometers southwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. Mbarara District is one of Uganda’s fastest growing districts something attributed to trade boom that has swept through the region over the last decades. Here you have the opportunity to visit local markets, go to the internet café or visit Safarilanda Park, built on the side of a hill overlooking the Rwizi. It is a wooden structure with restaurants, bars and balconies all decorated in African style.
Approximate Distance: 280 km Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs Today we head back to Kampala, where your trip ends upon arrival.