The 7 Days Uganda Culture Safari with Gorilla trekking commences in Kampala and can end in or Kampala depending on the traveller’s preference. The 7 days of Uganda Culture safari features a blend of wildlife and gorillas. The safari involves a game walking safari in Lake Mburo National Park where the travellers can explore the Rothschild Giraffes, the Impala, Burchell’s Zebra, the Topi, the elands among others, whole day experience with the Banyankole community exploring the Ankole long horned cattle and its practices, the crop growing and extensive Banana plantations, the 1520AD eclipse monument and Erijukiro museum tour at Igongo Cultural center, the gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park, the coffee tour including coffee roasting on the shores of Lake Mutanda and eventually the Batwa heritage trail exploration in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
After breakfast embark on the transfer to Lake Mburo National Park in the south west of Uganda departing your place of stay at 6:30am. The drive to Lake Mburo National Park is 240km about 3 – 4 hours’ drive and you will break this journey after driving only 77km from Kampala at the Equator crossing Kayabwe which is a re-known site for photography since most of the travellers prefer taking pictures with one leg in one hemisphere and the other leg in a different hemisphere. There are also geographical experiments that can be carried out for the keen geographers to demonstrate the geographical separation of the north and southern hemispheres. You retreat from this break and continue on the drive to Lake Mburo National Park. You will check in at the lodge and rest for lunch and simple relaxation. In the early evening, you embark on a thrilling game walking safari passing through the impressive savannah ecosystem with lots of Acacia. You enjoy beautiful views of the area including open stretching plains. The walk offers you an opportunity to explore the a range of wild game including; Rothschild giraffes, Impala, Burchell’s Zebra, Topis, Warthogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, elands not forgetting acacia associated birds. Hiking the Kazuma hill offers you one of the magical scenic views in Uganda. Retreat from the activity for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Wake up 6am and connect to the Enyemebwa center to catch up with the herds men getting up to do the milking and their daily routine. You arrive and get the milking equipment including the tying rope and the milking pot to actively participate in the traditional hand milking of the Ankole long horned cattle, from milking you participate in sick animal treating, caring for cows like brushing their body using the locally made fiber brush (Enkuyo) and set out to graze in the wilderness. You enjoy the stimulating sounds that are made by the herds men as they set out to the grazing field and be mesmerized by the cows know how to align themselves forming a line headed by those that have special character of leading others. You retreat back and visit the traditional hut where you find the women churning milk in the churning gourd, from here the guide can take you to explore the crop bit of it exploring the extensive banana plantations where you learn about various banana types and their respective use participate in pruning and weeding using local methods and then participate in initial arrangements for traditional lunch. You take a break from that and rush to the well with red soil that is used for smearing the soil made water trough, smear the trough and fill it with water and then wait for the cattle to come and water them accordingly. You can opt to have a bull slaughtered and grilled traditionally for you where you can also have it alongside the delicious local sauce that is made without fire called Eshabwe. Join the women as they clean milk pots and smoking them with the help of handmade of ceramic and specially chosen tree and grass Species, making crafts and calf pen arrangement. In the evening after the cows have settle in their Kraal, you attend to the traditional performances including citations, dancing and singing. It is a whole day encounter that allows you to gain a deep immersion of the local culture. Retire for relaxation and overnight.
After breakfast, embark on the transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and at 33km distance, you make a stop at Igongo Cultural Museum. The tour to the Erijukiro Museum exposes you to counts of collections of all tribes of south western Uganda dating back to their traditional era. You also enjoy the art works including the impressive sculptures of ancient great men like the Muguta y’ Butaaho and the Ishe’ Katabaazi not forgetting the magical cow Mayenje g’ ishinjo which sparked off the war between Nkore and Buhweju. You continue on the drive to tour the 1520AD Eclipse monument overlooking the Igongo Cultural Center. You can opt of for a hill climb other than driving there which is a magical experience to encounter. You explore the great heritage attached to the eclipse monument. The Cows of Ankole kingdom had been totally confiscated by King Olimi I of Bunyoro and the Banyankole were starving. And then a wonder happened when the King Olimi I was from raiding the cows of Rwanda and the total solar eclipse occurred when had reached Biharwe. He and his men thought that something terrible was going to happen to them and they abandoned the cows and run to Bunyoro. When the eclipse was over, the Banyankole found cows all over and they believed that they had been sent by God from heaven in response to their cries. Thus they called them “enduuga mwiiguru”. Retreat from the activity and continue on the drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park arriving in the afternoon for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
This is a special day dedicated for the mountain gorillas. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park supports a minimum of 400 mountain gorillas which on global scale are given as critically endangered. Therefore, undertaking the gorilla trekking experience in the hilly forested landscapes of Bwindi is such a life time endeavor that will create lasting memories. You gather at the respective park headquarters for briefing in the morning at 8am where you are also allocated the respective gorilla families to track. From here, you head to the forest in the company of the armed ranger guides that will lead you up the gorillas. The walk is beyond the ordinary as it involves traversing the dense jungle whose thickness would at some points necessitate using a machete to make a path, hiking the challenging landscapes some of which are steep and slippery at times under the canopy of the mature forest which forms darkness even during the day. You are treated to the impressive bird songs and beautiful flowers through the experience. The encounter tends to take 2 – 8 hours depending on the gorilla movements and one hour is availed to you to have a direct touch with the gorillas. Upon approaching gorillas, their reaction is not predictable as it can include them giving you a courteous welcome, minding less about you and charging against you. However, as a result of habituation, Mountain gorillas are always welcoming with the Silverback beating a little of his chest to demonstrate his might and also welcoming to you to the group. The young gorillas are very playful and are at times not aware of the 7m rule thus can try to draw closer to even touching on your body – save it by taking some steps away to observe the distance. You are not limited in any way to ask as many questions about gorillas and their habitats along with taking pictures so long as you have the opportunity to do so. Retreat from the activity and transfer back to the lodge for relaxation. In the evening, you are treated to the thrilling traditional performances of the local tribal group of the Bakiga exploring their energetic dance. Their dances and songs are thrilling and would definitely make your evening colorful.
You drive to Kisoro and embark on the coffee exploration tour on the shores of Lake Mutanda while enjoying the magical views of the Virunga Mountain and the waters of Lake Mutanda and other lakes and rivers in the area. The coffee exploration tour allows you to learn the traditional practices of coffee growing including planting, maintenance and harvesting. You do the coffee roasting and explore the coffee processing from garden to the cup. Retire for overnight.
Embark on the Batwa Heritage trail exploration after breakfast. You connect to Mgahinga Park headquarters Ntebeko and get briefed before starting the trek to the forest following the Batwa trail in the company of Batwa guides detailing their great heritage embedded in their ancient home. You learn their wild honey harvesting means, the traditional medical plants, the tree houses, the hunting techniques, the edible roots and plants before arriving at Garama Cave which was the central place for their converging while still in the forest. The Batwa chief used to reside here. At cave, the Batwa women will treat you to impressive performances including their ancient songs. It is a moment of wonder and deep exploration into the Batwa culture that is at stake of fading away. The Batwa trail takes 6 – 7 hours after which you retire for relaxation at the lodge,
After breakfast, cross the border to Rwanda driving past the impressive settlements of the Banyarwanda, their building styles, crops grown and the animals kept before arriving in Kigali to catch up with your afternoon flight. Driving to Kisoro would be easier than driving back to Kampala but if you wish to end your safari in Kampala, there is no problem.