Enjoy a scenic flight over the lush green hills of Uganda and avoid the long road transfer on this special fly-in gorilla trekking itinerary that will take you deep into the beautiful Bwindi National Park, home to almost half of the world’s mountain gorilla population! This short but sweet itinerary offers the ultimate tick-list adventure as you get to come up-close to these remarkable gen...
An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country.
In 1981 Toni moved to Namibia with her family and from then on her love of the outdoors and all things nature grew and grew. Her father was an exploration geologist who travelled extensively around Southern Africa, living in small mining towns and managing bush camps where Toni would spend her school holidays camping in the bush, or visiting private farms and reserves. Toni’s father passed on to her his unparalleled knowledge of all things Namibia, and she carried this with her as she became a manager and guide at some of the most remote lodges in the extreme North West of Namibia. Toni has travelled expansively across Namibia and its neighbouring countries, making regular visits to all of the National Game Reserves and developing her photographic skills which she takes great pleasure in passing on to visitors to the region.
Her deep love and knowledge of the Namibia, coupled with her infectious passion and enthusiasm to want to share it, make her one of the country’s top guides and ambassadors for this beautiful country. More than just a guide who simply points from a vehicle, Toni becomes fully involved in the experiences of her fellow travellers and places a great emphasis on finding the best adventures, wildlife encounters and photo opportunities for her tour groups. As a Managing Tour Consultant she plans safaris for a wide range of interest groups but her main focus is on birding and photographic small group tours, where she delights in each visitor gaining an up-close and personal experience of all that the country she loves and knows so well has to offer.
Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. She spent 11 years on Sea Lion Island as Manager of the Lodge, Warden of the Nature Reserve and as the principal tour provider, meaning her knowledge of Sea Lion Island in particular is second to none. Having spent so much time here, as expected her wildlife speciality is Elephant Seals, but she is also well versed in the ways of the seabirds, penguins, whales, dolphins and sea lions that call the Falklands their home.
After her time on Sea Lion Island Jenny moved to Stanley to work for the Falkland Islands Government and became manager of a local travel firm assisting with travel arrangements for incoming visitors, before taking semi-retirement to spend more time with her family and enjoy more time further exploring the lands she knows so well. Jenny is extremely passionate about sharing the hidden nature secrets of the Falklands with those who come to visit her homeland and will be looking forward to accompanying you and passing on her unsurpassed knowledge of the areas you will be visiting.
Welcome to the pearl of Africa! After having arrived independently to Entebbe International Airport you will be greeted by a representative for your transfer to the Boma Guesthouse (5 to 10 minute drive) for your included overnight stay. Enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep in this tastefully restored colonial homestead in preparation for the adventures that lie ahead.
Overnight stay at the Boma Guesthouse with breakfast included.
Today your adventure begins in earnest as after an early breakfast you will be collected for your transfer to the airport for your included flight to Western Uganda. This scenic flight in an 11-seater small plane will take approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, and upon arrival at Kihihi Airstrip you will be transferred by road to the beautiful Bwindi National Park (1 hour drive). You will arrive at the luxury Mahogany Springs Lodge by early afternoon and enjoy a delicious lunch before enjoying some free time to explore the area. Set back on the pristine waters of the Munyanga River, Mahogany Springs is located just 2 minutes drive from the Bwindi National Park headquarters where we will be heading to tomorrow for our gorilla tracking experience. Guests can choose to spend some time relaxing and preparing for tomorrow’s excursions or join an optional guided forest walk in search of the area’s unique flora and fauna.
You can enjoy a beautiful dinner in the evening before settling into your luxury “banda” which features 2 double beds, an en-suite bathroom and a private terrace with panoramic views of the forest and surrounding land.
2 nights accommodation at Mahogany Springs Lodge with 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners.
Get ready for the experience of a lifetime! After an early breakfast you will join your transfer to the offices of the National Park where upon arrival you will be allocated a gorilla family, an 8-person group and a gorilla trekking guide. After a briefing into what lies ahead, including safety precautions and an introduction to the behaviour of the gorillas, you will be driven to the trailhead for the start of your thrilling adventure.
Depending on the gorilla family that you have been allocated the trek to see them can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 6 hours so patience and an average fitness level are required. The terrain can be muddy, and rainy weather is likely, but as you trek through the jungle the anticipation of seeing these gentle giants in the wild, along with the spectacular views and likely bird sightings on offer, is likely to be more than enough distraction from that. And we can almost guarantee that when you come face to face with these majestic animals the trek will soon become a distant memory!
Upon sighting the gorillas your group will be allowed one hour with them to watch them as they go about their daily lives; feeding, moving, playing, wrestling and feeding their young – this will be a totally unique and unforgettable experience!
Gorilla trekking experiences in Bwindi have been designed to ensure that numbers are kept to a minimum whilst still offering the experience of seeing these animals in the wild so that more can be done to protect them and ensure the species’ ongoing survival. The vast majority of your gorilla permit cost goes to protecting these vulnerable animals and ensuring that their population thrives. Without tourist visits there would be substantially less funds available to do this. Each of the habituated families of mountain gorillas are only allowed to be visited by one group of eight people per day, and only 72 visitors are allowed each day.
After your thrilling experience of witnessing the famous mountain gorillas up-close, your guide will lead you back to base where you will be transferred back to the lodge for a delicious dinner and the chance to reflect on what may well have been the greatest wildlife experience of your life.
After your memorable time in Bwindi National Park it’s time to head back to Entebbe as you depart after breakfast for your transfer to the air strip and return flight to Entebbe International Airport.