LUXURY 12 DAY ULTIMATE UGANDA FLYING SAFARI

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This Uganda Flying Safari allows you maximum time to enjoy all the Pearls of Uganda and it’s world class Savanna Safari National Parks, Gorillas, Primates and Cultures all whilst enjoying your luxury accommodation and avoiding the long and uncomfortable road transfers.  African Unique Safari’s is the only Safari company in the region that has put together this ultimate flying safari route.  Experience what no one else has experienced before.

Uganda is a huge country but you will easily get to the isolated and incredible Kidepo National Park for 3 nights, then fly to the famous Murchison Falls National Park for a further 3 nights, before flying to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a further 3 nights and then a quick road transfer to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for an amazing trek with the rare Mountain Gorillas for a further two nights before we fly you back to Entebbe avoiding the 8 hour car transfer.

  • Hippopotamus Akagera NP

  • Waterbuck Akagera NP

  • Young Bull Elephant Akagera NP

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DAY 1 - ARRIVE ENTEBBE UGANDA AND TRANSFER TO KIDEPO NATIONAL PARK

Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by an African Unique Safaris and Tours representative, who will welcome you and transfer you for the short trip to Wilson Airport for your charter flight to Kidepo National Park.

Enroute you will receive a full briefing of your incredible tour, including what to expect at Kidepo.

Kidepo Valley National Park lies in the rugged, semi arid valleys between Uganda’s borders with Sudan and Kenya, some 700km from Kampala. Gazetted as a national park in 1962, it has a profusion of big game and hosts over 77 mammal species as well as around 475 bird species.

Kidepo is Uganda’s most isolated national park, but the few who make the long journey north through the wild frontier region of Karamoja would agree that it is also the most magnificent, for Kidepo ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses. From Apoka, in the heart of the park, a savannah landscape extends far beyond the gazetted area, towards horizons outlined by distant mountain ranges.

The charter flight only takes 2 hours compared to a two day drive.  The airstrip is very close to your accommodation where an Apoka Safari Lodge representative will pick you up.

There should be time for an afternoon game and in the evening.

Accommodation: Apoka Safari Lodge.

Included:

  • Full Board
  • Laundry
  • 2 x Game Viewing Activities per day
  • 1 x Karamjong Village visit.
  • 1 x Ik People visit.
DAY 2 - MORNING SAFARI WALK AND GAME DRIVE

Before breakfast this morning head off with one of the highly qualified guides for an educational morning walking safari.

You will learn how the guides track animals and see game from a most exciting vantage point on foot.

Return for a beautiful breakfast before heading out for a game drive. Kidepo is the only park in Uganda where you can see Giraffe and Zebra together as well as abundant lions, leopard, cheetah (only park in Uganda with cheetah), elephant, ostrich and possibly Africa’s largest herds of buffalo as well as rarities such as the the tantalus monkey.

There are around 460 bird species also including 58 raptor species.

Reptiles include crocodiles, monitor lizards, agamas, skunks, turtles and tortoises. Wild animals can be found around the grounds of the lodge, so please use caution when walking around

In the afternoon go for a visit to a Karamojong Village.  These remote communities continue their agro-pastoral traditions and have resisted western education and ways.  One of the early inhabitants of the area it is an intriguing window in to a totally unique and interesting culture.

Dinner and overnight at Akopa Safari Lodge.

DAY 3 - IK PEOPLE TREK AND VISIT (Game Drive for those looking for a less physically challenging day)

African Unique Safari and Tours is named for a reason.  Along with the usual tour highlights we always look for interesting and off the beaten track experiences and today is a truly unique experience.

After breakfast we head off to the Morungole Mountains in the East of Kidepo National Park on the Kenyan border.  This is where the remote and remaining Ik People live.

The Ik People are a small tribe of between 10,000 to 11,000 in number.  It is said that they migrated from Ethiopia and first settled in Kenya and migrated to what is now Kidepo Valley Park.

They were hunters and gatherers however due to cattle raids from other tribes such as the Turkana and  Pokot of Kenya, the Karimojong of Uganda and the Tuposa of South Sudan they gave up cattle herding for subsistence farming, goat keeping, and honey production.

There was also government interference beginning in the 1960’s as the Ik’s traditional hunting and gathering area was turned into a Wildlife Reserve.  They wanted to live in Peace and  began to migrate up to the Morungole Mountains where they can be found and visited today and live in isolation and relative peace.

A day with the Ik People high up on Morungole Mountain, with some of the most stunning scenery in all of Uganda, is simply an amazing adventure.

Learn about the cultural habits of the Ik people such paying the bride price with 5 to 10 beehives, chickens, goats, money instead of cattle, how children at a young age live with one another or their grandmother. How polygamy is practiced here and about everyday life in an Ik Village on Morungole Mountain.

Cattle  is no longer kept for fear of raids from other tribes surrounding them, most farm, have goats and keep beehives and some of the honey is now processed.

You have to be physically fit to climb the mountains – the peak of Mount Murongole is 2,749 meters above sea level and hike up here is a torture for those who are not fit.  The trail is 8 kilometers long (16 kilometer round trip) and quite a tough climb to the villages.

You will find stunningly beautiful Scenery the higher your climb takes you, simply breathtaking scenes in the valleys below you and into the Eastern Rift Valley of Kenya.

As you reach the villages you will be greeted warmly with traditional dancing often in Ik finery.  The Ik people are welcoming tourism as it is adding a bit of income for the community and actually may sustain the continuing existence of the Tribe as it has for the Batwa Peoplein southwest Uganda.

As you are guided around the village, ask questions about the lifestyle of the Ik people, the raising of children is quite different here, polygamy is part of family life and there is not much of a formal education besides learning to fend for yourself.  One young Ik woman is at Kampala International University and she would be the first University Graduate of the Tribe.

 

Please Note:  The Ik People have their first Member of Parliament in the 10th Ugandan Parliament in 2016.  A history making moment. Also one Female Student enrolled in University.

Dinner and overnight at Akopa Safari Lodge.  Dinner under the stars will be a great way to rest and relax after you long and spectacular hike.


 

DAY 4 - MORNING GAME VIEWING & TRANSFER TO MURCHISON FALLS NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast this morning there is still time to take in the spectacular Kidepo wildlife on a game drive.

Late morning we will then transfer you to the nearby airstrip for your charter flight to the famous Murchison Falls National Park with the Nile River running through it’s heart.

The flight is around 90 minutes and the airstrip is right next to your accommodation.

After checking in to your luxury tented lodge there is plenty of time for an afternoon game drive in a park visited and marveled at  in the early days by Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart, King Edward the 7th and The Queen Mother no less.

The vegetation is characterised by savannah, riverine forest and woodland. Wildlife includes lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, hartebeests, oribis, Uganda kobs, chimpanzees, and many bird species.

Accommodation: Full Board at Chobe Safari Lodge Super Deluxe Tent on the Nile River.

DAY 5 - CHIMPANZEE TREK AND GAME VIEWING

After an early breakfast overlooking the Nile, we head off to Budongo Forest Reserve just outside Murchison Falls National Park for a unique Chimpanzee Trek.

Along with the Bonobo of Congo, chimpanzees are our closest genetic relative and you are sure to spot some familiar faces and habits in your observations.

After almost becoming extinct in the early 1970’s there are now around 700 chimpanzees in the area and the Budongo Forest Project has successfully been working with the local communities to ensure their future.

There are 3 habituated groups of around 70-80 chimps per family and you will get the opportunity to meet our cousins up close.

In the afternoon you will return to the Chobe Safari Lodge via a game drive through Murchison Falls.

Accommodation: Full Board at Chobe Safari Lodge Super Deluxe Tent.

DAY 6 - GAME DRIVE AND NILE CRUISE

After breakfast you will take a game drive further in to Murchison Falls National Park enroute to your Nile Cruise launch destination of Paraa.

The cruise goes up river and the round trip takes around 3 hours taking in the rivers biodiversity and of course the Murchison Falls.  This is a spotlight activity whilst in Murchison Falls.

Depending on your wants there is another launch cruise that heads downriver towards the Lake Albert delta which is a treat for birdwatchers especially.

Head back to Chobe Safari Lodge for your last night in your luxury tent.

DAY 7 - TRANSFER TO QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK & KAZINGA CHANNEL BOAT CRUISE

After another stunning breakfast on the banks of the Nile you take the short trip to Chobe Safari Lodge airstrip for your transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Just like with Kidepo and Chobe Safari Lodge this charter drops you right at your next accommodation, Mweya Safari Lodge, right in the heart of Queen Elizabeth.

After checking in to your luxury tent, enjoy lunch at Mweya Safari Lodge before an afternoon launch cruise on Kazinga Channel only 5 minutes away.

Kazinga Channel has the highest density of hippos in all of Africa.  They live alongside an abundance of birdlife, crocodiles, elephants and more.  This is a photographers dream.

After the launch cruise head back to the lodge for a swim or rest.

Accomomdation: Full Board at Mweya Safari Lodge, luxury tent.

 

 

 

Accommodation:  Mweya Luxury Tented Lodges

DAY 8 - BALLOON SAFARI AND GAME VIEWING

After a healthy breakfast, your ballooning adventure begins early in the morning when you leave your lodge to get to the meeting point at the Kasenyi gate of Queen Elizabeth NP for 5:30am. This early drive in the dark is a chance to see nocturnal animals that live in and around the park. On arrival to the Kasenyi gate, you will follow the ground crew to the site that has been chosen for lift off. The specific location changes daily based on current wind and weather conditions.

When you arrive at the take off point, you will meet your pilot and be given a safety briefing and instructions for boarding the balloon as well as landing procedures. As the ground crew unpacks the balloon, passengers can sip on a steaming cup of coffee or tea and watch the cold inflation of the balloon. This is done using two large petrol powered fans that fill the balloon with cold air.

Once the balloon is mostly inflated but still lying on its side, the ground, the crew will invite you inside the balloon. It is overwhelming how large it is. The 16 passenger balloon has a capacity of 300,000 cubic feet. Inside, you will learn about the ropes that are used by the pilot to control the balloon during flight. When the balloon is mostly inflated with cold air, the pilot enters the basket while it is still lying its side and begins to further inflate the balloon with hot air. With the addition of the hot air, the balloon slowly begins to rise in the air and uprights itself. When the balloon is completely vertical, it is time for passengers to climb into the basket and prepare for lift off.

For approximately an hour, you will float over the savannah of Queen Elizabeth NP. The pilot will fly at varying altitudes during your flight to give you different perspectives, taking advantage of the wind currents at the varying altitudes. No two flights are the same ensuring that your experience is truly unique. The flight gives passengers great photo opportunities that are different from an ordinary safari on the ground. As you gently drift over the park, you can watch the sun rise as savannah below come to life with birds and animals.

After landing, in keeping with an old ballooning tradition, the pilot and passengers celebrate the flight with a glass of sparkling wine. After the toast, passengers sit down to a delectable bush breakfast prepared by Mweya Safari Lodge. The bush breakfast makes for a memorable ending to your adventure.

After this wonderful experience you will have champagne and breakfast and later return to the lodge for refreshing and lunch.

The rest of the day you may have a game drive through the parks Kasenyi district or maybe decide to rest and enjoy the lodge facilities.

Accommodation: Full Board at Mweya Safari Lodge, luxury tent.

DAY 9 - GAME VIEWING AND NIGHT SAFARI

Today take it easy and have a breakfast at a time that suits you, then head of for more game driving around this spectacular park.

Head back to the lodge to enjoy the pool, rest and lunch, before heading off for a very interesting night safari, spotting the nocturnal habits of African wildlife.

Accomodation: Full Board at Mweya Safari Lodge, luxury tent.

DAY 10 - TRANSFER TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST

After breakfast you will check out of Mweya Safari Lodge and take a tour to the south of Queen Elizabeth Park called Inshasha.

Inshasha is famous for it’s rare tree-climbing lions.  It may take a bit to find them but there’s a good chance of finding these unique beasts resting in the branches of the local trees.

Lunch will be a packed lunch from the lodge.

After lunch continue on for a further 2 hours by road to transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in preparation for a highlight activity, Gorilla Trek the following morning.

Accommodation: Full Board at Trackers Safari Lodge.

DAY 11 - GORILLA TREK

Early in the morning after breakfast and a briefing from the UWA officials, set off for the gorilla tracking.

This is a once life time experience and unforgettable adventure.  The ranger guides will lead you into the thick forest and start your search for the endangered Mountain Gorillas.

You will move up and down the rugged terrain until you finally meet these harmonious creatures that will entertain you with performances for about1hour.

The activity can take 6-7 hours since the gorillas move up and down. This is an awe some and exciting moment.

En route there are a lot of chimpanzees and other types of the primates such as the monkeys, birds and so more.

Accommodation: Full Board at Trackers Safari Lodge.

DAY 12 - BATWA EXPERIENCE, TRANSFER FLIGHT BACK TO ENTEBBE

Before your final flight back to Entebbe there is enough time for a very interesting culture tour.

The Batwa Experience is fascinating as the local Batwa (pygmies) show you their traditional lifestyle.

The original inhabitants of the regions and with a lineage thought to date back at least 5000 years, their short stature is thought to be an adaptation to Forest Living.

Unfortunately unable to live traditionally in the National Park these days their skills and hope for a future back in the forest will endear you.

Afterwards we transfer you 1.5 hours to Kihihi airstrip for your flight back to Entebbe, thus avoiding the 8 hour road trip.

Fond Farewell from the Pearl of Africa and African Unique Safaris and Tours.

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