You will probably remember today for the rest of your life as we spend a full hour in the company of a family of Mountain gorillas! Owing to the nature of the terrain and the need to explore to find the gorillas, our trek doesn't follow a path and instead our guides will cut a route through the undergrowth. After a safety briefing, we are assigned to a gorilla family group and begin our trek. You should expect a minimum of three hours walking on irregular terrain in order to find the gorillas; steep ascents and descents over muddy slopes are the norm.
Strong footwear is essential and we recommend hiring a local porter to help you carry your bag/camera equipment and provide a steady, supportive hand (porters will be arranged and paid for locally on the day). Seeing wild Mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is an experience you will never forget. An adult male can weigh up to 195kg, a female up to 100kg, and a male can reach 1. 7m in height. They are almost exclusively vegetarian and quite destructive eaters, which makes them unpopular with the farmers lower down the mountain slopes as they have been known to wreck a whole field of crops just to eat one plant.
For this reason, and also because of poaching, the gorillas are very carefully protected. Gorillas are gentle creatures and are not known to attack unless very severely provoked. The family groups that we trek to see are habituated to human presence but to prevent over familiarisation our time with them is limited to one hour. Should the permits for gorilla families close to where we stay be unavailable then there may be more permits for other areas of the park, although this will mean a longer drive to the start point of the trek. Stay: Casa Gorilla Lodge & Campsite or similar Full-service Camping (B/L/D).
We depart early this morning for Budongo Forest, which is home to the largest numbers of chimpanzees in Uganda; we will go on a trek in search of chimpanzees and other wildlife. The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. Whilst trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be surrounded by bird song and hope to see both Velvet and Colobus monkeys, wild pigs and of course the chimpanzee.
Once a chimpanzee family is found, we will have an hour with these fascinating creatures, to watch them interact and play with each other. In the afternoon we drive to Murchison Falls where we spend the next two nights. Stay: Red Chili Murchison or similar Full-service Camping (B/L/D).
This morning we have an early morning game drive in search of wildlife in Murchison Falls N.P. We transfer by ferry to the north side of the Nile where we embark our game drive. Murchison Falls N.P. is home to elephants, giraffe, buffalo and Uganda kobs, as well as the predators: lions and leopards. After lunch we travel by boat up the Nile, passing hippos and crocodiles, searching for elephants and waterbuck that come to the river to drink.
The cruise lasts about 3 hrs, and will travel upstream to the bottom of the falls, stopping near the ‘Devil's Cauldron', the place where the water bursts through the narrow gorge and creates an outstanding rainbow. Stay: Red Chili Murchison or similar Full-service Camping (B/L/D).
We depart the Eldoret in the morning after breakfast and drive to Lake Nakuru National Park, one of the finest small parks within Kenya, where we spend the day on a game drive in the park. Protected by an electric fence, the park is widely known for its impressive population of Black and White rhino which are relatively easy to spot on game drives in the open savannah.
Fever trees line the park and are a well-known spot for leopards to laze in, whilst one of the most impressive sights is the vast flamingo population. Owing to flooding the alkaline content of the lake has changed in recent years and as a result the flamingos no longer tend to be found in such large numbers, but this can change depending on the rainfall. Stay: KWS Campsite or similar Full-service Camping (B/L/D).