Uganda: Discover the Pearl of Africa

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Availability : November 6-17, 2022

Uganda: Discover the Pearl of Africa

Highlights Include:

  • Trekking to see endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, including Kazinga Channel cruise
  • Chimpanzee encounters in Kibale National Forest
  • Cultural experiences that highlight local people and their way of life
  • Hosted by Borton Overseas Destination Specialist Andrea Berger

Photo: Andrea Berger/Borton Overseas

Tour Details

From: $5,270 per person | Single supplement $1,150

12 days

Tour Dates:
November 6 – 17, 2022

Package cost does not include international airfare. Estimated airfare cost:
From MSP: from $1,520 per person
From LAX: from $2,065 per person
From NYC: from $1,130 per person

In 1907, Winston Churchill traveled to Uganda and was so impressed with what he found there that he wrote a book about his journey and popularized the phrase “the Pearl of Africa.” On this Borton Overseas Signature Journey, hosted by Africa Specialist Andrea Berger, you can discover for yourself just what made Churchill so enthused. This privately-guided program will take our small group to some of Uganda’s national parks, which showcase a diversity of birds and wildlife, and provide unique opportunities to explore by boat and on foot.

A bucket-list item for many travelers — trekking to see endangered mountain gorillas — is the jewel in the crown of experiences included in this trip. Tracking chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park adds another layer to this primate focused tour. Our journey through the rolling savannahs, the vibrant villages, and verdant hillsides of the country will reveal beautiful facets of Uganda: the Nile River, mountain gorillas, tea estates, tree-climbing lions, the Batwa forest culture, and so much more. We think you will return home with sparkling memories and dazzling experiences more valuable than any precious gem!

This is a Borton Overseas Signature Journey – a premier, small-group tour hosted by Africa Destination Specialist Andrea Berger.

Monday, November 1Arrive Entebbe, Uganda

On arrival in Entebbe, you will be met at the airport by our local guide and transferred to our hotel in Entebbe. Once everyone arrives, our guide will brief us about our upcoming safari. Overnight at Laico Lake Victoria Hotel Entebbe

Tuesday, November 2Drive to Murchison Falls | Meals: B L D

Today the adventure begins with an early morning drive to Murchison Falls after breakfast, complete with a visit to the Rhino Sanctuary. After trekking with the white rhinos, we will enjoy a lunch break at Masindi before ending at Murchison Falls. A stop at the top of the Falls will show us the Nile’s beauty! From here we can see the Nile River compressing from 165-feet across to squeeze through a 23-foot-wide canyon before dropping 130 feet with a thunderous roar, creating the beautiful Murchison Falls.

We will then drop our luggage at our lodge and enjoy an afternoon/evening game drive before returning to the lodge for dinner. Overnight at Pakuba Safari Lodge

Wednesday, November 3Game Drives & Boat Cruise in Murchison Falls National Park | Meals: B L D

Rise early for a game drive this morning, where we might spot elephant, lion, buffalo, hartebeest, giraffe, and more. After lunch, enjoy a boat trip on the Victoria Nile, upstream to the base of the Falls. Search for hippos, crocodiles, waterbuck, and a variety of birds while we enjoy the views of the Nile. The boat will stop near the Devil’s Cauldron, where you will be able to take stunning photos of Murchison Falls from a different angle, before returning to your lodge for dinner. Overnight at Pakuba Safari Lodge

Thursday, November 4Kibale Forest National Park | Meals: B L D

After breakfast, say goodbye to Murchison and take a long ride over hills, down valleys, through villages, and trading centers with lunch enroute to Kibale Forest National Park. Upon arrival at our lodge, you can take the afternoon to relax, or visit tea plantations next to the lodge. Here you will be able to walk through villages to the “Top of the World” viewpoint and see how tea leaves are picked, before enjoying dinner at our lodge. Overnight at Kibale Guest Cottage

Friday, November 5Chimpanzee Tracking & Bigodi Walk | Meals: B L D

This morning’s adventure begins with an exploratory and sensational chimpanzee tracking experience in Kibale Forest, arguable Africa’s largest surviving hardwood forest. The forest is home to 13 primate species, 375 species of birds, and many other forest animal species. You can choose to upgrade your trek to a full day chimpanzee habituation ($220 per person). Return to the lodge for a hot lunch and later, finish the day with a nature walk to the famous Bigodi Conservation. Dinner will be at our lodge. Overnight at Kibale Guest Cottage

Saturday, November 6Game Drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park | Meals: B L D

Depart this morning for Queen Elizabeth National Park. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch and relax at the lodge. We will end our day with a sunset game drive through the park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to a wide variety of wildlife including elephants, leopard, lions, hippos, buffalo, Uganda kob, baboon, and many species of birds. With both a riverine and savannah habitat, the park includes the southern Ishasha area with the massive Maramagambo, one of the largest surviving natural forests in Uganda. Overnight at Buffalo Safari Lodge

Sunday, November 7Boat Cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park | Meals: B L D

This morning brings a game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Park’s diverse Eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes, and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel that provides an excellent platform for photography and game viewing.

The many nearby crater lakes and mountain ranges provide a beautiful backdrop for your leisurely boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park. You may encounter herds of elephant, buffalo, and antelopes, families of warthogs, large groups of hippos, and crocodiles basking on the shore. Kazinga’s shores are a haven for numerous birds, including many migratory species as they make their way south to warmer climates. The cruise also provides a spectacular view of the beautiful Mweya Peninsula and life in local fishing villages set along the banks. Overnight at Buffalo Safari Lodge

Monday, November 8Tree Climbing Lions & Bwindi National Park | Meals: B L D

Enjoy an early morning breakfast at the lodge before we depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest via the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, with a chance to see the park’s famous tree-climbing lions. We will check in to our accommodation in the afternoon and relax at the lodge for the rest of the evening. There is an optional village walk tonight before dinner. Overnight at Mutanda Lake Resort

Tuesday, November 9Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest | Meals: B L D

Depart after an early breakfast and a briefing by a ranger guide to enter the Bwindi Forest for your adventure. Experienced guides and trackers will accompany our party on an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on the mountain slopes. The journey, through dense foliage and up steep climbs, is abundantly rewarded with the once-in-a-lifetime experience of viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Mountain gorillas are extremely rare with only an estimated 850 remaining in the wild. This is an experience you won’t soon forget!

In the evening, we will go for a coffee tour guided by knowledgeable guides, showing guests the process from bean to cup, with a cupping session to compare notes on aromas and tastes. Overnight at Mutanda Lake Resort

Wednesday, November 10Batwa Cultural Tour | Meals: B L D

Today we will enjoy the Batwa Trail, a first-hand introduction to one of the most unique cultures worldwide. The Batwa (pygmies) are forest people displaced from the rainforest they shared with the mountain gorillas. The experience will give you the opportunity to learn more about their old age culture while you enjoy a hike with the Batwa guides, see how they lived and hunted, hear ancient legends, and learn about medicinal plants. The revenue generated from these activities directly benefits the Batwa to strengthen their community.

There is the option to purchase an additional day of gorilla trekking for $700 per person. Overnight at Mutanda Lake Resort

Thursday, November 11Lake Mburo National Park | Meals: B L D

After breakfast, we depart the impenetrable forest of Bwindi and head to Lake Mburo National Park. As we enter the park, it is likely that we will spot some wildlife. After checking in to our lodge, we will go on a boat ride on the lake to view the rich birdlife and many hippos that are cooling off. Have an early dinner before embarking on a night game drive in an open Land Cruiser with a spotlight. This special game drive of 2-3 hours provides a 30% chance of seeing the elusive leopard, as well as other nocturnal animals. Overnight at Mburo Safari Lodge

Friday, November 12Journey to Entebbe and Depart | Meals: B L

Depart after a light breakfast for a safari walk guided by a ranger. Lake Mburo is the only National Park in Uganda where you can experience a safari on foot. Return to the lodge for a full breakfast and, with a game drive on our way out, we will depart the protected area and drive back to Kampala.

Depending on the flight schedules, we will visit a few African craft markets during the drive to Entebbe. Day rooms will be provided to freshen up before a transfer to the airport for international departures.

  • Twelve nights’ accommodation
  • Gorilla permit (USD $700 per permit)
  • Chimpanzee permit (USD $150 per permit)
  • Transfers as indicated in a 4WD safari jeep
  • Meals as indicated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
  • Coffee Tour/ Village Tours
  • Ranger fees
  • Batwa (pygmy tour)
  • Nature walks
  • All mentioned activities (except for the optional ones)
  • Park entrance fees (subject to change)
Not Included
  • Flights to/from Africa and related taxes – See estimated airfare
  • Travel insurance (emergency medical & evacuation coverage required)
  • Fees for passports, visas, or health vaccinations
  • Transfers, sightseeing, activities, meals and beverages not specified
  • 2nd Gorilla trekking permit (USD $700 per person); upgrade to chimp habituation experience
  • Gratuities
  • Items of personal nature such as laundry, spa services, internet, phone, etc.
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