Uganda Photo Safari 2021

TOUR DETAILS
TOUR DATES
2 October 2021 - 13 October 2021 Space available

Uganda

Uganda is often referred to as the Pearl of Africa, and with good reason. Uganda is a country of astonishing biodiversity, from the glacial peaks of the Ruwenzori mountains to the tropical forests of the Congo Basin. From the semi deserts of the Kidepo to the Rainforests of Bwindi, Uganda has it all. Add to this the Rift Valley and lakes such as Victoria and Albert, not to eve mention the elusive Nile slowly meandering north out of Uganda and you start to get an idea of what this hospitable country has to offer.

Our safari will target amongst many others the African continent’s two most iconic primate species: Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees. We will have two opportunities to photograph each species to limit our chances of disappointment. The third leg of our journey will take in the picturesque Lake Albert and an excellent chance of photographing that bird with the Cheshire Cat smile … the Shoebill. In between these bucket list targets, we will explore Semliki Game Reserve where biodiversity abounds and revel in the beauty of the Kibale and Bwindi Forests.

 

Bwindi national park

There are some experiences in life that simply cannot be explained and can only be experienced in the flesh. Tracking Mountain Gorillas through high altitude bamboo forest and finally glimpsing these gentle giants is one such experience. Perhaps it is their impressive size, with silverback males weighing in at two hundred kilograms, or perhaps their close genetic link to humans? Perhaps it’s the highly endangered conservation status but whatever the reason, an encounter with these gentle giants transcends the physical and touches one on a much deeper level.

There is perhaps no better place to experience Mountain Gorillas than Bwindi impenetrable forest. It is here where approximately half of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorilla population resides and through some amazing conservation eforts, thrive in this forested canopy. Walking through these forests is easier than the name implies and sightings of these troops of gorillas is one that will leave you spellbound. 

A moderate fitness level is required so don’t let this once in a lifetime opportunity pass you by not having walked a bit before the tour.


 

Lake Albert & Semliki Game Reserve

Lake Albert is the northern most lake of the Albertine Rift and is fed by the Victoria Nile and the Semliki River. The Lake straddles the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. A multitude of fishermen depend on the lake for their livelihood providing great photographic opportunities as they head out in the early morning in search of fish. The vegetation on the shores of the lake provide great habitat for egrets, storks and waders and it is in these areas that we will go in search for Shoebills.

We will visit Lake Albert from the Semliki Game Reserve which in itself is a diversity hotspot where the highlands of Uganda start to descend into the Congo basin rainforests. Wildlife species include the very rare opportunity of seeing Chimpanzees on the savannahs and potentially forest Elephants and Buffalos. These sightings are rare and will require a fair amount of good fortune. General wildlife is well represented and the lodge and surrounds have a great diversity of bird species to observe and photograph.

 

 

Kibale national park

Kibale National park covers an area of about 795km and its acknowledged to have one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forest. Its a habitat to many forest wildlife and among these include the primates along with chimpanzees. The forest occupies the northern as well as the central part of the park. Kibale in the northern part has a peak of about 1590m above sea level. The northern part is also well known as the wettest area with an annual rainfall of about 1700mm.The rainy months include March-May as well as September to November. It has an average temperature of about 14-27 degrees celsius and temperatures are high in the south because of the landscape falls into the scorching rift valley floor.

Some of the ancient trees in the forest are 50 to 60 metres in height, and provide a majestic canopy for the profusion of rainforest life here, including 325 bird species. The park is also home to an elusive herd of forest elephant, as well as buffalo, Uganda Kob, genet, civet, waterbuck and bushbuck.

There are approximately 1,450 chimps in the forest and two large chimpanzee communities have been habituated: the Kanyantale-Kanyanchu group and the Buraiga group. Both groups have 80 members or more.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience is a once in a lifetime experience that allows accompany Kibale’s researchers and habituation at chimpanzee during their daily activities, thereby getting used to human presence without changing their natural. During your tour, expect coming across the chimps de-nesting (in their nocturnal nests) between 05.30 to 06.30, before them throughout the day till they make new nests and the night around 19.00.

A moderate fitness level is required so don’t let this once in a lifetime opportunity pass you by not having walked a bit before the tour.

 

 

About your host, Andre Cloete

André grew up in the African bush with literally one hand on his binoculars and the other hand on the camera. An avid birdwatcher at that young age, he was given his first SLR in 1990. The passion of birding turned into one of photography and in 2004 Andre co-founded C4 Photo Safaris with Shem Compion.

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Day 1 - 2

Serena Hotel Lake Victoria, Uganda

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport. Meet and greet by The Uganda Safari Company driver who will transfer you to your accommodation (Driving time: -/+ 15 minutes – Private transfer).

 

Day 2 - 5

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Uganda

DAY 2

Early morning transfer to Entebbe airport (Driving time: -/+ 15 minutes) for a scheduled flight to Kisoro (07h45/08h30). Upon landing you will be picked up by a lodge representative who will transfer you to Sheba’s Camp which is on the shore of Lake Mutanda (Driving time: -/+ 30 minutes). Embark on a boat cruise on Lake Mutanda (Activity duration: -/+ 2 hours). The boat cruise is weather dependent. You will proceed to Rwajenge Landing site near Chameleon Hill lodge. You can enjoy a picnic lunch on the boat or hot lunch at Chameleon Hill Lodge. After you will return to your vehicle and proceed to Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (Driving time: -/+1 hour). In the afternoon, you will go for the Buniga Forest Walk and visit the Batwa Community (Activity duration: -/+ 1 ½ hour). Please note that the scheduled flight from Entebbe to Semliki will operate with a minimum of 4 pax on any day of the week.

DAY 3

Full day Gorilla tracking in Nkuringo/Rushaga (Optional) (Depending on gorilla permits availability). After the tracking, return to your accommodation for relaxation.

DAY 4

Full day Gorilla Tracking in Rushaga (Optional) (Depending on gorilla permits availability). After, return to your accommodation for relaxation.

 

 

Day 5 - 8

Semliki Safari Lodge, Uganda

DAY 5

Transfer to Kisoro airstrip in a lodge vehicle share with other guests for your scheduled flight to Semliki (07h45/08h30). Pick up from the airstrip by the lodge representative to transfer to Semliki Safari Lodge. Afternoon game drive and sundowner.

DAY 6

Morning exclusive boat cruise on Lake Albert in search of the famous Shoebill (Activity duration: -/+ 3 hours), return to the lodge for lunch and evening game drive with a sundowner.

DAY 7

Morning primate walk to later have a conversation with the people doing the chimp research project. Afternoon game drive and sundowner. Afternoon game drive and sundowner.

 

Day 8 - 11

Ndali Lodge, Uganda 

DAY 8

Early morning pick up by the TUSC guide to transfer from Semliki Wildlife Reserve (Driving time -/+ 3h00 hours) to Ndali lodge. (Driving time -/+ 2 hours) where you will have lunch and afternoon walk around the crater lodges.

DAY 9

Morning chimpanzee tracking and afternoon bigodi swamp walk.

DAY 10 

Morning chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest national park.

 

 

Day 11 - 12

Serena Hotel Lake Victoria, Uganda

DAY 11

Early morning pick up by the TUSC guide to transfer from Semliki Wildlife Reserve (Driving time -/+ 3h00 hours) to Ndali lodge. (Driving time -/+ 2 hours) where you will have lunch and afternoon walk around the crater lodges.

 

Day 12

International Flight

After breakfast you will be transferred back to the airport for your international flights home. This is the end of your safari. 

 

 


Lake Victoria Serene Hotel

Styled to replicate a pastel-shaded Italian hillside village, The Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa stands out among hotels in Uganda. Situated amid terraced rose gardens above its own boating marina, which has been sculpted from the sparkling waters of Lake Victoria. A gently rounded bay, studded with acacia trees, the marina is encircled by the immaculate greens of the resort’s own PGA-affiliated championship golf course. Spanned by rustic bridges and enhanced by gentle bays where a wide array of water birds gathers, the course is the ultimate fusion of natural beauty and professional challenge. 

Ideally situated near Entebbe, The Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa presents a selection of unique Lake Victoria accommodation. Choose from 124 rooms, 114 Standard Rooms, 8 Executive Suites and 2 Presidential Suites. Standard Room accommodation is elegantly presented in shades of terracotta and cream. Each room features either a queen-sized or two twin beds, a dressing table, work station, seating area, balcony and lavish marble bathroom with walk-in shower.

Book your stay in some of best suite accommodation in Uganda at The Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa. Our Executive Suites also feature a spacious living area with flat-screen TV, office space and second balcony.

For the ultimate luxury hotel stay in Uganda, our two Presidential Suites are located on the penthouse level of the main citadel and feature: a luxury ensuite bedroom with king-sized bed, an elegant reception room, dining room (with private kitchen), furnished terrace and staff accommodation. The Presidential floor also features its own private event or conference space.

 

 

Cloud Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Set on a forested ridge near the entrance to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge boasts eight spacious cottages built from volcanic stone. Spectacular views stretch all the way to the Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda, as well as across the border into the Congo, where the glow of Nyiragongo Volcano can be seen on a clear night. Warm and welcoming, each cottage features a bedroom, ensuite bathroom with walk-in shower and separate lounge. Comfortable chairs on the outdoor verandas provide the perfect vantage point to admire the unforgettable vistas of the forest below. Blazing fireplaces create a cosy glow as evening falls.

Meals are prepared using the freshest local ingredients and served in front of a roaring fire in the dining area or in the privacy of your stone cottage. The lodge is situated within easy walking distance of the trail where guests can begin their gorilla trekking adventure. Guided forest walks and birdwatching expeditions explore the surroundings, while local community visits give a glimpse of traditional life.

 

 

Semliki Lodge

The only lodge in the Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve, the traditional and rustic Semliki Lodge offers a truly private game viewing experience. Eight canvas tents under thatched roofs feature gleaming hardwood floors, hand-carved four poster beds and soft Persian carpets. Private verandas open up onto panoramic views, while spacious interiors and sofas piled high with cushions invite guests to while the hours away.

The main lodge is a large, comfortable living space where guests can converge to watch the sunset, swap stories of the day’s adventures and gather around massive, hand-hewn tables to share mouth-watering meals. A sparkling swimming pool offers not only the ideal place to cool down but also spectacular vistas of the Blue Mountains. Apart from morning and evening game drives, guests can choose to take part in chimpanzee tracking or take a guided walk through the jungle. The ample birdlife is ideal for keen birdwatchers, while avid fishermen can try their luck during a boat trip on Lake Albert. Visits to the local community can be arranged for a glimpse of traditional life.

 

 

Ndali Lodge

Ndali is a rustic and intimate lodge perched on the rim of an extinct volcano which, since its demise, has filled with water over centuries to become the vast Lake Nyinambuga in the Bunyaruguru Crater Field in Uganda.

The lodge prides itself on its informal, homely atmosphere which is enhanced by the staff who come from local farms and villages and are professionally trained by the lodge.

There are many activities on offer at the lodge and Ndali provides local guides for walks around the thousand-acre farm and to the Mahoma Waterfall, with the opportunity of spotting a large variety of birds, butterflies and primates along the way. There is also a two-person inflatable kayak available for excursions.

Ndali’s eight individual cottages, all of which offer panoramic views of the Rwenzori Mountains and Queen Elizabeth National Park, are built of local stone and thatch and are lit by solar energy. Each cottage, large enough to accommodate a family, has en suite bathroom facilities. The honeymoon cottage has a a larger bathtub with a connected shower. All cottages have private verandas, so at the end of the day you can watch the sun setting behind the snow-capped Rwenzori mountains.

 

$13 500.00 price per sharing person

$14 600.00 price per single person

30% deposit confirms your booking. Balance payable 8 weeks prior to the safari.

Max 7 guest and a minimum of 5 guests with one guide.

 

The above costs include

  • Meet and greet at airport and all road transfers in Uganda. 
  • All local small plane flights in Uganda: 
    • Entebbe – Kasese
    • Semliki – Kisoro
    • Kisoro – Entebbe 
  • All accommodation and meals.
  • Activities as stipulated in the itinerary: 
    • Boat cruise on Lake Albert 
    • Boat trip on Lake Matanda
    • Buniga Forest Walk and visit the Batwa community
  • 2 x Gorilla permits per person. 
  • 2 x Chimp permits per person. 
  • Conservation levies and Park fees. 
  • Specialist C4 Photographic guide: Andre Cloete

 

Not included

  • Visas and Vaccinations.
  • Extra activities.
  • All soft drinks and alcoholic drinks. 
  • Purchases of a personal nature. 
  • International flights. 
  • Gratuities to staff and guides. 
  • Travel insurance. 

 

Travel Insurance

Is vital for any tour anywhere in the world. The foresight to protect not only the experimental investment of the safari i.e trip cancellation, travel interruption/ban, flight cancellation, but also the traveller themselves when in need of primary medical care, evacuation to the hospital of choice most of the time in nearby countries is one of the most important decision you can make to assist in a stress free trip. Please speak to your travel agent/insurer for available options that will best suite your needs. Please note that when travelling with C4 Photo Safaris, that Travel Insurance is mandatory for all of our tours.


Day 1

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport. Meet and greet by The Uganda Safari Company driver who will transfer you to your accommodation (Driving time: -/+ 15 minutes). Overnight at Serena Lake Victoria Hotel.  

Day 2

Early morning transfer to Entebbe airport (Driving time: -/+ 15 minutes) for a scheduled flight to Kisoro (07h45/08h30). Upon landing you will be picked up by a lodge representative who will transfer you to Sheba’s Camp which is on the shore of Lake Mutanda (Driving time: -/+ 30 minutes). Embark on a boat cruise on Lake Mutanda (Activity duration: -/+ 2 hours). The boat cruise is weather dependent. You will proceed to Rwajenge Landing site near Chameleon Hill lodge. You can enjoy a picnic lunch on the boat or hot lunch at Chameleon Hill Lodge. After you will return to your vehicle and proceed to Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (Driving time: -/+1 hour). In the afternoon, you will go for the Buniga Forest Walk and visit the Batwa Community (Activity duration: -/+ 1 ½ hour). 

Day 5

Transfer to Kisoro airstrip in a lodge vehicle share with other guests for your scheduled flight to Semliki (07h45/08h30). Pick up from the airstrip by the lodge representative to transfer to Semliki Safari Lodge. Afternoon game drive and sundowner.

Day 8

Early morning pick up by the TUSC guide to transfer from Semliki Wildlife Reserve (Driving time -/+ 3h00 hours) to Ndali lodge. (Driving time -/+ 2 hours) where you will have lunch and afternoon walk around the crater lodges.

Day 11

After an early breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to Kasese Airstrip (Driving time: -/+ 2 hours) for your scheduled flight Kasese/Entebbe (Flight time: 10h20/11h25). Pick up by TUSC representative to transfer to Lake Victoria serena Hotel. (Driving time:-/+ 30 minutes). Please note that the scheduled flight makes two stops at different airstrips before arriving in Entebbe Airport.

Day 12

After breakfast you will be transferred back to the airport for your international flights home. This is the end of your safari.

 

NOTES

  • Gorilla and Chimp permits are subject to availability.  
  • Luggage allowances: On all internal flights, the maximum luggage allowance is 30kg per person. 
  • All flights through Aerolink are scheduled and the actual flight routing is dependant on the day of the flight so can either be direct or have stops on-route 

 
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