LOCATION Uganda, Africa
DATES November 2018 (16 days)
GROUP SIZE Each trip has a maximum group size of 4 participants
LEVEL All Experience Levels
Join me on an intimate journey to photograph the "pearl of Africa". Located on the equator, Uganda boasts fabulous biodiversity the likes of which are not found anywhere else on the continent of Africa. The secret is the country's mesmerizing diversity of habitats, which hosts over 1,000 bird species and 330 mammalian species (including many primates, foremost among them the colossal mountain gorilla and chimpanzee) in a nation roughly equivalent in size to Oregon.
The heart of our 16 day safari is the aforementioned Great Apes, with two mountain gorilla treks and two full day chimpanzee habituation experiences. We will also explore the breathtaking savannas, deltas and waterways of two of Africa's premier game parks: Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Park. In both we expect to find lions, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hippo, kob antelope and leopard along with countless species of birds. Another point of emphasis will be the dense papyrus swamps that cradle the shores of Lake Victoria. It is here where we will photograph one of the worlds most enigmatic bird species: The Shoebill. This rare and mysterious bird is rarely seen but one particular swamp offers the worlds best chance to see this species in the wild.
THE TOUR INCLUDES
Two days of Shoebill Stork tracking on the shores of Lake Victoria
Rhino tracking on foot at the Zziwa Rhinos Sanctuary
7 game drives, one in Murchison Falls National Park, six in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Three boat rides, two in Murchison Falls National Park, and one Queen Elizabeth National Park
Two days of chimpanzee habituation experiences in Kibale
Trips to Bigodi Swamp with 12 different primate species
Tree climbing lions at Ishasha
Two days of gorilla treks in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
To reserve your spot on this safari please email me at
Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe.
You will be picked by our driver/guide and transfer you to Papyrus Guest House for overnight. We will brief you about the tour long with our departure time the next morning.
Day 2: Shoebill Stork
In the early morning, we will depart for a morning and afternoon canoe trip through Mabamba Swamp on the shores of the mighty Lake Victoria to search for one of the world's most visually startling bird species: the Shoebill Stork. This is one of the best places in Africa to view the enigmatic species and our chances to photograph the shoebill is very high. Mabamba Swamp is a large tract of marshlands with various channels through it and it provides the perfect habitat for countless of water-birds besides the Shoebill Stork along with the exceedingly rare Sitatunga Antelope. After spending the whole day exploring the area we will head back for a dinner and a second night at Papyrus Guest House.
Day 3: Shoebill Stork
Early morning departure for a second visit to Mabamba for another chance to capture the Shoebill Stork. The shoebill is very shy by nature and a second full day in the wetland greatly increases our chances of attaining high-quality photos of the species. We are the only tour that offers two full days at the swamp and this increased time in the wetland goes a long way in ensuring at least one close encounter with the shoebill. The third night is at Papyrus Guest House.
Day 4: To Murchison Falls NP
In the early morning, we will depart our Guesthouse for Murchison Falls National Park. The safe-guarded Savannah within the reserve constitutes some of Uganda’s oldest conservation zones and was described by Winston Churchill in 1907 as 'Kew Gardens and the zoo combined on an unlimited scale'. On the way to Murchison, we will stop at Ziwa Rhinos Sanctuary for tracking the endangered White Rhinos and also have lunch here before continuing via Karuma Bridge to reach later in the afternoon at Fort Murchison just outside the park boundaries. Late in the day, we will reach the beautifully located Pakuba Lodge inside the park. The day will close with a cool drink and a fabulous view over the river Nile.
Day 5: In Murchison Falls NP
Early in the morning, we will go for a game drive on the northern bank of the Nile, with a good chance of spotting lions and giraffes. In the afternoon we have the impressive launch trip on the Victoria Nile to the bottom of the falls. Hippos and buffalo will be plentiful.
Day 6: In Murchison Falls NP
Early morning a private boat will take us downstream to the delta where the Nile enters Lake Albert. This trip will showcase the amazing concentration of elephants, hippos, buffalo, crocodiles and bird species found in Murchison Falls. After lunch, we will make a visit to the top of the falls for one last wonderful view of the park. In the evening we will reach Hoima town where we will spend the night at the Hoima Cultural Lodge.
Day 7: To Kibale Forest
Early morning departure for the journey to Kibale Forest. In the afternoon we will arrive at Kibale Forest. If time permits, we will visit Bigodi Swamp which borders Kibale and where we will get the chance to find 12 different species of primates. Overnight in Kibale Forest Camp.
Day 8: Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
Accompanying Kibale reserve rangers, we will be on the forest floor at the crack of dawn to find and track chimpanzees. We will follow them all day, observing their unique behavior and social interactions. Our tracking will last the whole day and we will accompany the chimpanzees until the afternoon when they will begin to build nests for the evening. The habituation experience is part of the Uganda Wildlife Authority initiative to habituate chimps to the human presence without changing their natural environment. For many, this will undoubtedly be the highlight of our safari!
Day 9: Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
The second day of our chimpanzee habituation experience.
Day 10: To Queen Elizabeth NP
Early morning we will return for a second visit to Bigodi Swamp. Afterwards we will travel through Fort Portal and by midday we will reach Kasenyi Safari Camp located on the rim of lake Bunyampaka in the Kasenyi savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will check in at your accommodation and have lunch, and in the late afternoon we will go on a game drive.
Day 11: In Queen Elizabeth NP
Early morning game drive on Kasenyi plains of Queen Elizabeth NP, with thousands of Ugandan Kob, waterbuck, lions and elephants. The area is famous for it's giant Euphorbia trees which resemble cacti and often times we will find the lions and leopards resting on in the shade of the trees. In the afternoon we will go on a two hour launch trip on the Kazinga channel where we will get a chance to see a host of wildlife, namely hippo, buffalo, elephants and numerous birdlife. In the late afternoon we will go on a sunset game drive.
Day 12: In Queen Elizabeth NP
Early morning game drive on Kasenyi plains of Queen Elizabeth NP. Later we drive through Queen Elizabeth National Park to the Ishasha sector in the South of the park. Ishasha is world famous for its phenomenon of tree climbing lions who will often spend most of their days resting on the large fig trees strewn throughout the plains of Ishasha. Overnight in the luxurious Ishasha Jungle Lodge.
Day 13: South to Bwindi
Early morning game drive through the Ishasha sector. After the drive, we turn our attention towards our final destination in the south: Bwindi Forest. The road takes us through a beautiful landscape as we pass mountains, hills, and lakes with cultivated terraces and tropical rain forests. By the evening we will reach the border of the park and our accommodations at Buhoma Haven Lodge.
Day 14: In Bwindi
We will begin our day in the impenetrable forest of Bwindi National Park in search of the endangered mountain gorillas that call it home. Two mornings are spent tracking two different gorilla groups in their natural habitat. For up to five years each, these groups have undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually brought them to tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day, allowing a few privileged visitors to interact with them.After an early wake-up and breakfast, we have a 30-minute car ride into the park. At 7:45 A:M you will be at the Offices of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for pre-briefing and at 8:30 we will start the trek towards one of the families. The guides will use their knowledge of the gorillas' habits and information from the previous day to locate the group's whereabouts. Because of this, the time taken to track the gorillas varies enormously, from as little as half an hour to nine hours. Once we find them we will get the chance to spend a heart-stopping one hour photographing the gorillas. I will guide you through how to get the best out of your photographs during our time with the gorillas and will go through the photos with you in the evenings so that you can improve your skills in the following day. All visitors are expected back to the starting point by 7:00 P:M. Being physically fit is highly recommended.
Day 15: To South of Bwindi
This our second day of Gorilla tracking.
Day 16: To Entebbe and Departure
After breakfast, the last part of the journey will bring us back to Entebbe. We will stop in Mbarara for Lunch and then continue, after Masaka town, we will stop at the Equator for Tea/Coffee break. We will bring you to Airport Guesthouse Entebbe for refreshing and dinner before flying out to onward destination.
WHERE WE STAY
The Papyrus Guest House is only 12 minutes from Entebbe International Airport, this guesthouse is set in a quiet neighborhood in beautiful gardens. We offer a pickup from the airport, and we can also take you to the airport for your flight out. In the evening the garden transforms into a quaint restaurant where we will enjoy our dinners.
In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, we will be staying at the Buhoma Haven Lodge which will enable us to access the different unique areas of the park. The hotel is nestled close a stones throw away from the park which is home of the majestic mountain gorillas. The gentle apes will be our neighbors, occasionally coming out of the forest to spend some time in our garden. This is what makes this hotel so special. Located on the border of the impenetrable forest and set on a steep slope the lodge has a truly unique setting.
Ishasha Jungle Lodge is located 2km off Katokye Gate of Queen Elizabeth National Park along River Ntungwe. This is the perfect location for your photographic safaris in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park and a stopover on the way to Northern Queen Elizabeth. The lodge is surrounded by riparian forest vegetation and acacias Savannah. Ishasha Jungle Lodge is a small eco-friendly lodge, entirely made with local materials and African art, with its raised en-suite wooden deck cottages, spacious rooms and bathroom, all finished with canvas.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kasenyi Safari Camp is strategically located on the rim of lake Bunyampaka in the Kasenyi savannah of Queen Elizabeth National Park. The camp has an elevated dining structure that is meticulously thatched. Surrounded by the National Park and bordering the Kazinga channel, the camp has a truly unique setting. Wildlife, such as leopards and Kob roam in and out the camp and sounds of hippos and hyenas complement our starlit dinners. Expect a close to nature experience with excellent food and friendly service.
The Kibale Forest Camp offers the thrill of howling black and white colobus monkeys from the comfort of your tent. Get absorbed by forest smells and sounds, spot primates swinging through the trees and observe rare birds and beautiful butterflies fluttering around. Have a break from your daily concrete jungle life and experience the real thing. Complemented by excellent food served in a cozy grass thatched restaurant.
Pakuba Lodge is nestled on the Eastern Bank of the Albert Nile in Murchison Falls National Park overlooking the spectacular River Nile. The lodge location affords panoramic views of the mighty River Nile, sweeping vistas of the surrounding riverine forest below and captivating surrounding wilderness where travelers get the chance to sight Giraffes, Elephants, Antelopes and occasionally Leopards that pay regular visits to the lodge.
HOW TO BOOK
Our tour groups are small and limited to 4 participants so space is limited.
To reserve your spot in this exciting tour please email me at
Dates and Costs
The cost of this all-inclusive safari is $6,299 per person. Bookings are secured with a $1500 deposit per person, with the balance being required 12 weeks before (we need to get the Gorilla permits as early as possible). Payments to be made in $US.
A single, optional supplement is available at $800 extra. Single supplements are optional for single travelers who want their own room and tent. Otherwise single travelers are paired with another single traveler of the same gender.
Date: November 2018
The cost of the safari includes
Gorilla trekking permits (2)
Chimpanzee habituation permits (2)
Golden Monkey habituation permits (1)
Guides in the Park
Car (open roof, 4WD)
English speaking Driver/guide for boat rides
Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Cost does not include
Uganda visa ($50)
Tips and gratuities for camp staff and guides