New Paths Expeditions

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Uganda Private Expedition

Uganda Private Expedition

Even though mountain Gorillas are the main objective of travelers to Uganda, the country is much more than that, with a concentration of the classic African wildlife in a small territory of the impressive landscape. Our expedition is designed to let you experience it all, the diverse wildlife, the primates, and the unique local culture.

Uganda & Rwanda

Even though mountain Gorillas are the main objective of travelers to Uganda, the country is much more than that, with a concentration of the classic African wildlife in a small territory of the impressive landscape. Our expedition is designed to let you experience it all, the diverse wildlife, the primates, and the unique local culture.

 


Why chose NPE:

  • 4 National Parks
  • More wildlife
  • Less driving on bad roads
  • 3 Small plane flights
  • The most beautiful drives are included
  • Window seats guaranteed during drives
  • The best lodging available
  • Gorilla, Chimpanzees and Golden Monkeys
  • Close contact with local culture
  • Multiple private boat excursions
  • The best naturalist guides
  • NPE Senior Leader with you
  • Rwanda Extension with Gorillas and Golden Monkeys
  • The best pricing in the market

Details in Brief:

Duration: 11 days in country (Plus a 4-day Extension)

Itinerary in Brief

Day 1 – Arrive in Entebbe

Upon your arrival in Entebbe, you will be met by NPE representatives and taken to the upscale Hotel No. 5. You will be able to rest and relax after your journey at this centrally located hotel, which is considered the best in town. Enjoy a complete pre-departure and geographic orientation briefing by your Senior Leader and Local Head Guide followed by a welcome dinner tonight. Overnight at Hotel No. 5. Meals aloft.

Overnight at Hotel No. 5 (B)

 

Day 2 – Murchison Falls National Park
This morning we start our journey in Uganda transferring to the airport and taking a scheduled flight to Murchison Falls National Park, the largest national park in Uganda, with an area of 3840km2. It lies in the core of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. This impressive park protects a chunk of untamed African savannah bisected by the mighty river Nile. The dramatic Murchison Falls, where the world’s longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43m below, strikes an exhilarating impression on all 5 senses. Murchison Falls is occupied mainly by lush grasslands. The highest diversity of wildlife is found on the open plains north of the Nile, where elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a vast variety of antelope are regularly encountered. The Nile itself boasts one of Africa’s densest hippo and crocodile populations, and a dazzling variety of water birds including the world’s most accessible wild population of the rare shoebill.

We will enjoy game drives in this fascinating park. Overnight at Baker’s Lodge (B, L, D)

 

Day 3 – Game Drive at the Top of the Falls & Private Boat Descend

Today we get to explore the wonders of this magnificent park, by safari vehicle and a private boat. Enjoy a morning game drive and visit the top of the falls. The private boat trip takes us along the Nile to the bottom of the falls. Murchison Falls National Park is said to be the best game park in Uganda. During a typical game drive, you can be expected to see a large number of antelope species, including the bushbuck, the waterbuck, and the dik-dik to name but a few. Larger herbivores, such as giraffe and elephant are present in the park in great numbers and often the lumbering giraffe will cross the roads right in front of you. MFNP is the most accessible park in Uganda to see the giraffe. Huge groups of buffalo are a common sight whilst exploring the park on a game drive. Primates, such as the baboon and the patas monkey, stare at you as you pass by and if you are a bird lover then Murchison Falls National Park will not disappoint.

Overnight at Baker’s Lodge (B, L, D).

 

Day 4 – Victoria Nile River Delta Boat Excursion & Game Drive

This morning we go for a private Delta boat trip and then game drive in the northern sector of the park, most of the game is to be found in the area north of the Victoria Nile River and East of the Albert Nile and Lake Albert. This is where part of the movie The African Queen was filmed. Game is now returning quite rapidly and game drives can be very exciting. Game often seen includes elephant, oribi, giraffe, waterbuck, hartebeest, topi, buffalo, bushbuck, warthog, bush pig, lion, leopard, mongoose, hyena, jackal, and bat-eared fox.

Overnight at Baker’s Lodge (B, L, D).

 

Day 5 – To Kibale Forest via Kasese

This morning we take a scheduled flight to Kasese and then drive to Ndali Lodge. We will enjoy a nature walk at the impressive nearby crater lake.

Overnight at Ndali Lodge (B, L, D).

 

Day 6 – Chimpanzees, Local Flavors & Culture of Kibale

This morning we get the opportunity to spend a full day in the life of Chimpanzees. Kibale Forest is home to 13 primate species, and a guided forest trek will be taken in search of one of the most popular primate species in the world – the chimpanzee. Although chimp sightings are not guaranteed, the odds are good with the chance of encountering them standing at higher than 90%. You will go on a forest walk in search of primates. While trekking in the depths of the lush green forest, you will be surrounded by birdsong and can expect to see at least 5 or 6 other types of primates, most probably the grey-cheeked mangabey and the red-tailed monkey and of course the chimpanzee. The walking is fairly easy due to the well-maintained trails and reasonably flat terrain. For lunch we will visit Tinka’s home, a local community leader, to sample a variety of traditional Ugandan dishes. Tinka will advise on the preparation and cooking process of all of the foods. During the afternoon we will enjoy a cultural walk around the Bigodi village.

Overnight at Ndali Lodge (B, L, D).

 

Day 7 – The Great African Rift Valley to Queen Elizabeth National Park Impressive Biodiversity

This morning we will enjoy a Bigodi swamp walk.

In the afternoon we gently descend into The Great African Rift Valley and Queen Elizabeth National Park. Queen Elizabeth National Park resides in a fertile, equatorial area and has beautiful scenery. It is Uganda’s greatest savannah reserve, with a total area of 1978km2. It is primarily associated with grassy savannah plains, but this impressive park also includes within its boundaries, leafy rainforests, dense papyrus swamps, and natural volcanic crater lakes. As a result, it has one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game reserve in the world, including a total of 95 recorded mammal species and more than 610 species of birds. (Approx. 3hrs)

Overnight at Kyambura Gorge Lodge (B, L, D).

 

Day 8 – Queen Elizabeth National Park Impressive Biodiversity

This morning we head out onto the northern savannahs of QENP for a game drive. After lunch, we will drive to the Kazinga Channel and take a private boat ride along the river (2hrs). The launch trip along the Kazinga Channel is one of the most popular activities in Queen Elizabeth National Park. It provides a fantastic chance to sit back, relax and enjoy the fresh river breeze while observing a large selection of animals. Those species commonly seen along the riverbank are elephants, buffalo, waterbuck, and Ugandan Kob. On occasion, visitors will also see the giant forest hog, leopard, and lion. The waterbirds in the area are plentiful; in particular, water thick-knee, yellow-billed stork, various plovers, white pink-backed Pelicans, and white-bellied cormorants, with 560 + recorded species and a record of 296 bird species seen in one 24 hour period. You will also view some of the largest concentration of hippo in the world {reported to be about 30,000}.

Overnight at Kyambura Gorge Lodge (B, L, D).

 

Day 9 – Tree Climbing Lions and to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Land of Gorillas

Today we drive through the savannahs of Queen Elizabeth National Park to the Ishasha region. Game drive in search
of tree climbing lion (75% success rate). We leave behind the lush savannah grass plains of QENP and drive to Buhoma/ Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The Bwindi forest is a magnificent luxuriant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley. This ancient rainforest – one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age
– is regarded to be one of the most biologically diverse forests in Africa with at least 90 mammal species, including 11 primates and is ranked as one of the best in Uganda for forest birding, with 23 highly localised Albertine Rift endemics. Bwindi is renowned for its Mountain Gorillas population, slightly more than half the world’s mountain gorilla population is resident in Bwindi: an estimated 280 – 320 individuals living in 15 groups. Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of these gentle giants is an extremely special privilege and an encounter unparalleled in most likely the whole of Africa.

Overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge (B, L, D)

 

Day 10 – Gorilla Tracking Day (And optional activities)

Today we will enjoy one of the greatest natural history experiences of our planet, Gorilla tracking.

Those participants that will not participate in the demanding hike will enjoy an easy walk in the forest and visit a local community.

Tonight we will celebrate not only the Gorilla trek but also we will say goodbye to Uganda.

The Gorilla Trek: After breakfast, we take a short drive to the Park Headquarters and meet with highly experienced local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. We then hike into the forest where
the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point. The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes, not more than 7,500 feet. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking unforgettable. Once the gorillas are located, all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided, and it is essential to take plenty of water. Cameras and plenty of fast speed film are recommended. It can rain at a few minutes notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including zip lock bags for cameras and film.

Overnight at Mahogany Springs Lodge (B, L, D)

 

Day 11- Return Home or Continue to Rwanda

Those that choose not to participate in the Rwanda Extension will enjoy a morning at leisure before driving to Kihihi airstrip for your scheduled flight back to Entebbe. Once in Entebbe and with the assistance of our representatives, you will check in for a day-use at the Protea Hotel (Check-out of the hotel is 9:00 pm). At the appropriate time, you will be escorted to the airport to connect with your international flight back home. (B, L)

Those who participate in the Rwanda Extension will drive to the Uganda-Rwanda border and after taking care of the formalities, will continue to Volcanoes National Park, where the American Naturalist Dian Fossey did her famous research on gorillas.

 

The Rwanda Extension

Details in Brief:

Duration: 4 days in country
Leader: Local Naturalist Guide

 


Itinerary in Brief:

Day 1 – To Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park

Today we leave Uganda behind us as we have a scenic drive through the Switzerland of East Africa to Kinigi in Rwanda. We travel via the Kanaba Gap, Kisoro, and the Cyanika border into Rwanda – the land of a thousand hills. We arrive at Volcanoes National Park and Five Volcanoes Lodge. “In the heart of Central Africa, so high that you shiver more than you sweat,” wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, “are the great old volcanoes towering up almost 15,000 feet and heavily covered in rich, green rainforest – the Virungas”.

The Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range and the rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen, bamboo forests, open grassland, swamp, and heath. Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans) is situated in north-western Rwanda. It borders Virunga National Park in the Demographic Republic of Congo And Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. It is a 90-minute drive for Kigali, the Capital of Rwanda. Volcanoes National Park is home to five of the eight volcanoes of the Virunga Mountains (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga, and Sabyinyo). The park was first gazetted in 1925 and was the first national park in Africa.

Volcanoes National Park was the base for the famous American Naturalist, Dian Fossey to carry out her research on gorillas. She arrived in 1967 and set up the Karisoke Research Centre. Dian Fossey is widely credited with saving the gorillas from extinction by bringing their plight to the international community. Dian Fossey was later murdered by unknown assailants and she is buried near the research center.

Best known for the mountain gorillas, other mammals that reside in the park are the golden monkey, black-fronted duiker, buffalo, spotted hyena and bushbuck. There are 178 recorded bird species with at least 13 species and 16 subspecies endemic to the Virunga and the Rwenzori Mountains.

Overnight at Five Volcanoes Lodge (B, L, D)

 

Day 2 – Gorilla tracking day

After breakfast, we take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. We then hike into the forest to where the gorillas were seen the night before and track from that point. The trekking can take from 1 to 6 hours and climb to altitudes between 2300-3500 meters above sea level. The terrain is rough and at times muddy. Although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located, all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. Picnic lunches are provided and it is important to take plenty of water. Cameras and plenty of fast speed film are recommended. It can rain in a few minutes notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including a waterproof bag for cameras and film. Please note: plastic (e.g. carrier/shopping) bags are illegal in Rwanda.

Overnight Five Volcanoes. (B, L, D)

 

Day 3 – Drive to Park Headquarters & Golden Monkey Trekking

After breakfast, we take a short drive to Park Headquarters and meet with excellent local guides and trackers who will give a talk on the etiquette of golden Monkey trekking lunch at the lodge afternoon drive to Kigali.

Overnight at Hotel Des Mille Collines (B, L, D)

 

Day 4 – Return Home

This morning transfer to the airport for your departure flight (B)


Important Note

Using decades of experience and with the help of our local partners, we have crafted this itinerary in detail and have created a program that maximizes the opportunities for exploring sites and to facilitate wildlife encounters while using the best accommodations available. However, unpredictable circumstances such as weather, flight delays or cancellations, labor strikes, road conditions, traffic, hotel overbookings, and other factors may force adjusting the program on-site. These events or realities are out of our control and an inherent risk when traveling, especially on expeditions to this kind of remote destinations. Your Expedition Leader might also decide to alter the program in case opportunities to improve the cultural or wildlife experiences are found. Please note that the expedition leader and hotels could change without notice due to force majeure reasons. No refunds will be given for program changes beyond the control of New Paths Expeditions.

Accommodations

HOTEL NO. 5

Hotel No. 5 is a stylish boutique hotel nestled in the leafy suburbs of Entebbe, Uganda. Ideally located 10 minutes from Entebbe International Airport, Hotel No. 5 may be located in Uganda’s second largest city, but the peaceful hotel grounds will provide an escape from the buzz and activity of Entebbe.

 


BAKER’S LODGE

The lodge provides a thatched central lounge, bar and dining area which is raised with wooden decks all around, allowing guests to savor the morning sunrise for breakfast, sunset in the evening and 180-degree river views throughout the day. Laundry, open bar (Imported brands at an extra charge) and wifi in the main building are included.


NDALI LODGE

The lodge is perched 100m (328ft) directly above Nyinambuga Crater Lake and has eight individual cottages set on the hillside. Designed to blend with the landscape, the lodge was built using all local materials such as traditional mud render and thatching, providing the lodge with its key qualities of light, space, simplicity, and openness to nature. Each cottage consists of an airy bedroom with en-suite bathroom (containing bathtubs and showers, plenty of hot water and flushing WC) and private veranda. Includes complementary laundry and wifi in the main house.


KYAMBURA GORGE LODGE

The main lodge building was originally a coffee store and processing plant, surrounded by coffee plantations. The original structure has been sensitively restored to create a stunning and contemporary living space, balancing the history of the building with a series of distinct luxurious spaces for guests to relax. Laundry, open bar (Imported brands at an extra charge), wifi in the main building and 1 massage per guest are included.


MAHOGANY SPRINGS LODGE

Mahogany Springs offers privacy and serenity blended with optimal comfort in a spectacular setting. At Mahogany Springs it is the little touches that make the big difference, from the tiny details in the design of the lodge through to the unrivalled service levels provided by the highly trained management team.


THE FIVE VOLCANOES BOUTIQUE HOTEL

All services ranging from high-end accommodation with heated rooms, fully fledge spa services, modern restaurant etc. to packed lunch and refreshment packages to non-resident guests – as the only facility in that region and is situated 10 minutes from park HQ.

 


HOTEL DES MILLE COLLINES

This is a 4-star hotel situated in the middle of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. The hotel boasts 112 exclusive rooms, which have all been completely refurbished and upgraded to a high standard. All of the rooms have their own balcony and access to wireless internet. The hotel will be having its Grand reopening in February 2011.

Departure

You can depart at any time of the year. For more information please contact us.

Prices

Please call us at 888 832 7280 for more information or request your quote.

 

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Details

Included in Land Cost:

  • Services of New Paths Expeditions in-house support team.
  • 24/7 services of an NPE Senior Leader during the expedition.
  • Local Guides
  • Comfortable, modern, 4X4 vehicles, customized for maximum viewing with open roof hatches. These are usually Toyota Land Cruisers or comparable vehicles.
  • Professional, experienced drivers, and guides, who are knowledgeable in all aspects of Uganda and Rwanda Safaris.
  • All accommodations and meals as stated in the itinerary
  • All excursions as stated in the itinerary
  • Emergency International communications available.
  • Books available in the vehicles to help identify the flora and fauna.
  • Umbrellas, bean bags, and blankets in the vehicles.
  • A courtesy bag which includes tea, coffee, biscuits, and paper napkins.
  • Coolers in our vehicles
  • Bottled water in vehicles
  • Laundry included in several of our lodges.

 

Not Included:

  • International and domestic flights.
  • Passport and visa fees.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Gratuities for Local Master Guide, Driver and Expedition Leader (may be added to your final invoice, if desired).
  • Gratuities for optional treks guides.
  • Personal expenses and incidentals, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, e-mail, and laundry.
  • Trip cancellation, travel delay, and baggage loss insurance.
  • Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of New Paths Expeditions.

 

Deposits and final payments:

  • In order to guarantee your space on the Uganda Expedition, a deposit of $1,500 is required at the time of booking.
  • The remaining cost will be charged 120 before the expedition begins.
  • Using these funds, New Paths Expeditions will make a deposit of 30% of the cost of your domestic air tickets to guarantee your seats in the needed flights. Please note that even though New Paths Expeditions will make the mentioned deposit, the domestic air tickets are not included and their cost will be added to your final invoice. In case you cancel your expedition, due to airline policies, we will not be able to refund the cost of the tickets, nor we will be able to transfer them to another expedition participant.
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Testimonials: 

“After 20 years of traveling, we never learned so much and had as much fun as with you guys!”
Jack N. Douglas-CO

“Our three expeditions with you were spectacular! We’ve just never had such wonderful travel experiences as with New Paths. We will get around praising you!”
Harriet T. Saugerties-NY

“NPE always provides excellent expedition guiding services where ever in the world we go. They attend to every detail, and NPE always has surprising added elements that are delightful. The best!”
Charlene P. La Jolla-CA

“Well planned, good local guides, top expedition leader. The trip far exceeded all expeditions.”
Frederic K. Orange-CA

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