Day 1 - Pickup from the Airport and Day in Kampala
Depending on your time of arrival we'll pick you up from the Airport in Entebbe and will drive you to Kampala. Once in Kampala we will drop you at your accommodation. After getting fresh and/or resting a bit (that depends on your individual needs) you will have the opportunity to engage in day activities like a city tour through Kampala.
Day 2 - Drive from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP)
We will set off early in the morning and head to the Queen Elizabeth National Park in South-Western Uganda. The drive is about 389km and due to road quality this can take up to 6 hours. Once you arrive in the National Park you will have time to relax and explore the area. The QENP is situated in Rukungiri district in southwestern Uganda covering a total land area of 1 978 sq km. It sits at an altitude of 900 meters on the adjacent Lake Edward up to 1 845 meters at the peak of the western Rift Valley’s – eastern Escarpment.
Day 3 - Safari / Game Drive(s) at QENP
You start your daily early with a hearty breakfast. The best time for game drives is in the morning hours where there are high chances of seeing elephants, buffaloes, lion (the climbing lions are definitely an attraction of the QENP) and a variety of antilopes and other wildlife. As the mornings are the coolest time of the day most of the animals are active during the early hours which increases the likelihood of encounters dramatically. Only experienced guides will drive you through the park. There are several tracking spots and well maintained game viewing tracks that stretch over 200 km. After you return from your morning game drive you will have lunch and some time to relax in the late afternoon when the weather gets cooler again you will go on a launch cruise on the Kazinga channel. The boat cruise on the Kazinga channel usually lasts for 2-5 hours and it gives you the opportunity to see a variety of animals such as hippos (that you most likely will find in the water), water birds, buffaloes, elephants, zebras, the Uganda-kobs, topis, water bucks, bush bucks, reed bucks, duikers or swamp antelopes. If you are lucky you can also spot a mongoose, warthog, forest hog or even a spotted hyena.
Day 4 - Chimp Trekking at QENP
We will wake you up quite early again. We will then make our way to the Kyambura Gorge Game Reserve where we will trek chimpanzees. You will most certainly enjoy these playful and energetic primates and will take some memorable images back home. Nevertheless our general chimp trekking rules also apply for this tour. A distance of just about 8m has to be kept between you and the chimps at all times, if you are sick with flue or diarrhea you are not allowed in the forest, eating near the chimps is to be avoided, children below the age of 12 are prohibited from entering the park, you can only access the game reserve with the help of our experienced guide, behave quietly and don't disturb the animals, no flash photography during the activity. You will most certainly find the chimps on one of the few more difficult routes in the south so be prepared that the hiking will be a bit challenging. Nevertheless we can accommodate for your fitness and e.g. organize your bags to be carried. When we return to the lodges you will have the rest of the day will be at your disposal and you can decide if you want to engage in another activity or simply relax.
Day 5 - Bird Watching and Game Drive QENP (alternatively Day off)
The Queen Elizabeth National park boosts in an excess of 550 species of birds that have actually made it a charming destination for guests that love watching birds. With it's moist semi-deciduous forest, rivine bush-land, moist thicket and riparian forests the QENP offers a breath-taking variety of flora and fauna. Among the bird habitats offered within this national park are open woodlands, rivers, open grassland, lakes seasonal as well as permanent swamps. There are several aquatic birds such as the Fish Eagle, Pink and white backed Pelican, Long tailed Cormorant, African Jacana, Yellow backed Weavers, open-billed Stork or Kingfisher, Wattled Plover and the Black Crake. After returning from the bird watching you will have lunch at your accommodation. In the late afternoon and after you got some rest we will then take you on another evening game drive.
Alternatively you can take this day off and simply read a book or do what ever you feel like doing. Out of experience we know that our guests have different needs and as much as we want to make the most out of this trip for you we also realize that it is your holiday and you might want to have some time for yourself.
Day 6 - Drive from QENP to your Family host or Community based project
Today we will drive from QENP to your host family in either one of the Bushenyi/ Mbarara/ Fortportal districts. This trip shall bring you closer to the people of Uganda and their lifestyle. Through joining them during their daily routine we hope you get a better understanding about culture and the circumstances that create this beautiful country. Be aware that you will spend the night with the family which means that as much as we will make your stay as convenient as possible this won't live up to the usual hotel standard. We believe that this is part of the experience and a 5 star hotel in an Eastern African village would defeat the purpose of this cultural exchange. Should you nevertheless not want to stay with a family we can alternatively organize a visit to a community project (e.g. schools or cultural centres) in Wakiso/Kampala.
Day 7 - Day with the Family/ Day at the Community project
You will spend this day engaging in several activities that you can choose from. We really want you to be fully involved in the day to day activities of the locals and make use of our opportunities of engagement. Offered activities will include e.g. preparing meals and cooking with the family, join cultural customs/celebrations, join village discussions or learn how to create certain handicrafts that are typical for the region. Should you decide you prefer community based projects instead of a family stay you will be able to visit schools / hospitals or charitable organizations in the area around Wakiso and Kampala.
Day 8: Drive to Kampala
In the morning you will say goodbye to your hosts and we'll start our drive to Kampala. Should you have chosen the family stay this could be a longer drive of between 3- 4.5 hours. We will head to Kampala via the Equator where we shall have some photographic moments.
Day 9 - Drop-off at the airport
According to your flight schedule preparations will be made to set off to Entebbe International Airport.