Kenya’s Masai Mara & Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Still one of the world’s best kept natural secrets, Uganda receives far less visitors than its neighbouring countries. Characterised by dramatic scenery throughout, it is Home to deep lakes, stunning waterfalls, towering mountains and incredible wildlife.
Uganda also has the highest concentration of primates on earth, including the mountain gorilla – now one of the rarest animals on the planet. There are just under 800 mountain gorillas in the world and over 460 of them reside in Uganda – mainly found in the epic Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST, UGANDA
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage site situated in the southwest corner of Uganda. The park is 331 square kilometres and impresses with a truly theatrical landscape and bio-diversity – this is a region of volcanoes, jagged valleys, waterfalls, lakes and dramatic mountain ranges. Birders come thousands of miles to see the more than 350 species that live within the area. There are also rare forest elephant, giant forest hog and eleven kinds of primates, including red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboons and chimpanzee. You can also find forest duiker antelopes and bush buck antelopes, as well as over 200 species of butterflies.
Bwindi is home to 340 mountain gorillas, just over half the world’s population of this critically endangered ape. The gorillas are completely wild but have become used to seeing a few humans after years of habituation. Many of the expert guides have been involved in this process since the beginning, and are able to explain the complicated etiquette involved in meeting a giant silverback. This is an opportunity afforded only to a select few, as just eight visitors are allowed to view each group every day.
Tracking through dense forest with steep slopes means that participants do need to be physically fit. Once the gorillas are located, you spend a maximum of one hour with them before returning back to camp. Please note only children aged 15 and above can track gorilla. Guests taking part in this activity must have a permit.
MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
The Masai Mara National Reserve lies in south western Kenya and is effectively the northern continuation of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named after the Maasai people and their description of the area when looked at from afar.
The Mara’s rich ecosystem of open savannah, woodlands and tree-lined rivers attracts a spectacular array of wildlife. Game viewing is excellent all year round in the Mara. It is famed for its Big Cats, as well as the remainder of the Big Five. The famous wildebeest migration is one of the natural wonders of the animal kingdom and is traditionally present in the Mara from around July through September.
REASONS TO VISIT T KENYA & UGANDA
- The unique combination of wildlife, landscapes, beaches and culture
- Some of the best game viewing opportunities in the world, including the Great Wildebeest Migration
- Home to some of the best national parks and game reserves in Africa with diverse ecosystems, including the Masai Mara
- A huge array of activities for the adventurous
- High standard of accommodation and service levels
- The highest concentration of primates on Earth and home to half the world’s remaining mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- An equally wide range of fauna, flora, and landscapes in all of the country’s national parks, including Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, and Kibale Forest
- A bird watcher’s paradise with over 350 species of bird recorded in Bwindi
- Excellent climate all year round
- The cheery and welcoming hospitality of its warm-natured people
GAME VIEWING & GORILLAS
This itinerary may vary for the best game viewing experience possible, depending on the time of year you choose to travel.
DAY 1 – Sanctuary Olonana
On arrival at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport you will be met by a Sanctuary representative who will transfer you to Wilson Airport for your connection to the Masai Mara. Your Sanctuary Olonana guide will meet you at the airstrip and drive you to the camp with some great game viewing en route. On arrival relax and freshen up in your tent before lunch is served. The tents are very spacious and have floor to ceiling mosquito netting, en-suite bathrooms with hot showers, flush lavatories, solar lighting and large, river view verandahs. The main dining room and veranda commands a dramatic stretch of the Mara River providing the perfect setting for afternoon tea and after dinner star gazing. As your afternoon game drive comes to an end, drive to a specially chosen vantage point overlooking the Mara plains. Enjoy drinks as you take in the beauty of the rapid sunset coloring the acacia dotted plains before returing to the camp for a delicious dinner.
Meals Included: Lunch and Dinner
DAY 2 – Sanctuary Olonana
This morning after breakfast at the camp venture out led by our expert guides to explore the Mara. The Mara is a fabulous place for seeing big cats and all of the big five, a variety of plains game and over 300 bird species. The plains offer a rich variety of food for the dominant predators: lion; leopard; hyena and cheetah. Elephants browse amongst the large herds of wildebeest and topi, eland and buffalo, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle. In the Mara River, hippos submerge to snort and grumble while crocodiles sunbathe, mouths agape, on the riverbanks. From around July to October, there’s the greatest show on Earth – the wildebeest migration. Mid-afternoon high tea will be served before your next activity. During your stay there are a variety of activities that can be booked on request such as a balloon safari.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
DAY 3 – Sanctuary Olonana
Today you might like walk with our naturalist and learn about plants, trees, insects and even how to approach animals on foot, as your guide shows you how to spot animal signs which are everywhere but not that easily noticed. Or choose from one of the options above. On your last evening drive out into the bush where a private and secluded clearing has been prepared for an elegant dinner in the middle of the wilderness. The table setting is as sophisticated and elegant as found in the finest restaurants. Candles flicker in the darkness, throwing golden lights on the table cloth as smiling waiters serve a delicious dinner. After dinner retire to the warmth of the campfire where brandies and liqueurs are served as guests relax and absorb the peace and beauty of an African night.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
DAY 4 – The Norfolk Hotel
After breakfast your guide will transfer you to the airstrip for your flight to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport. On arrival you will be met by a Sanctuary Retreats representative who will drive you the short distance to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where you will be able to enjoy lunch. Depart late afternoon for your flight to Entebbe, Uganda. On arrival in Entebbe you will be met by a Sanctuary Representative who will transfer you to your hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast
DAY 5 – Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
This morning after breakfast you will be picked up and transferred to Entebbe airport for your scheduled flight to Kihihi airstrip where a Sanctuary representative will meet and transfer you to the camp. The transfer time is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Gorilla Forest Camp is located within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the perfect base for a tracking experience as it offers luxury in the heart of the rainforest. Lunch is served at camp. In the afternoon you can just relax and take in the fresh air or take a forest walk, which is a nice way to warm up before the Gorilla tracking. Birders come thousands of miles to see the more than 350 species that live within the area. There are also rare forest elephant, giant forest hog and eleven kinds of primates, such as red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboons and chimpanzee.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
DAY 6 – Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Early breakfast this morning before a briefing from your guide. Tracking commences every morning from the park headquarters at 8.30 am. The gorillas we track belong to one of the ‘habituated’ family groups in Northern Bwindi. For several years each group has undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually made them used to the presence of humans. Experienced guides will accompany the tracking, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves. Once the gorillas are located, the group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Return to camp for dinner.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
DAY 7 – Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Today relax at camp or visit a local village and meet the villagers to learn about their day to day lives. On this walk you can visit a honey production site, a traditional medicine man, a traditional blacksmith, a local school when in term and even attend a Batwa dance performance. The walk is organised with the local community as part of our community support. Or you could take a bird walk. Bwindi boast over 300 bird species, including 24 that are endemic to these highlands straddling Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo – the “Albertine Rift Endemics”. There are also over 200 species of butterflies found in the park. A local expert will guide you on this fascinating walk. Lunch and dinner at the lodge. After dinner simply relax and sip a drink as you listen to folk tunes played on the traditional Bakiga guitar.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
DAY 8 – Protea Hotel, Entebbe
This morning you will enjoy breakfast at the camp, before your transfer to Kihihi airstrip for your shared scheduled flight back to Entebbe International Airport. Over night at the Protea Hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner.
DAY 9 – Depart after breakfast with airport transfers, connection time depending with your outbound flight.
SANCTUARY OLONANA – MASIA MARA, KENYA
Sanctuary Olonana is an award-winning tented safari camp on a private stretch of the Mara River in the heart of Kenya’s most famous game reserve, the Masai Mara.
This small and exclusive camp, the first of Sanctuary’s luxury safari properties, was built along sustainable lines which, along with our innovative wetlands and tree-planting projects, have earned Sanctuary Olonana a Gold Award from Ecotourism Kenya. Game drives, cultural visits, bush dinners, sundowners, scenic flights and balloon rides, Olonana makes for a wonderful African safari.
Built on the banks of the Mara River, the fourteen canvas tents at Sanctuary Olonana are extremely comfortable and spacious. The en-suite tents all have two double beds with floor to ceiling mosquito netting – making them perfect for families travelling with small children. Each of the private verandas overlook the river and offer the perfect spot where guests can relax and watch the resident hippos wallow in the water. There are also two honeymoon suites, each featuring outdoor showers.
Between activities, why not relax at our mini-spa? Offering a range of treatments from facials to body massages, the spa uses products from the Africology and French marine-based Thalgo range. Choose from a range of treatments such as a full body sweet and savoury scrub, pure collagen velvet mask, an indoceane treatment journey or Africology balancing scalp and foot massage. Africology manicures and copper & hot stone pedicures are also available.
With spectacular views over the Mara River and the soothing sound of the river and hippos in the background – you’ll have no choice but to relax. (additional cost)
BUSH BREAKFASTS, PICNICS & DINNERS
You may have decided with your guide to take a picnic breakfast or lunch with you but equally lovely in the evening is to enjoy a bush dinner. A private and secluded clearing is prepared for an elegant dinner in the middle of the African bush. As the sun swiftly sinks, the setting is illuminated by a magnificent log fire. The table setting is as sophisticated and elegant as found in the finest restaurants with wild flower arrangements that grace starched white table linen. Candles flicker in the darkness, throwing golden lights on the table cloth as smiling waiters serve a delicious dinner. After dinner retire to the warmth of the campfire where brandies and liqueurs are served as you absorb the peace and beauty of an African night.
Sanctuary Olonana prides itself in the personalised service we are able to offer our guests. Please let us know if you have any special requests and or dietary requirements.
WHY WE LOVE SANCTUARY OLONANA
- Located on a private concession bordering the epic Masai Mara
- During annual Wildebeest Migration, the action happens on the camp’s doorstep
- Easily accessible, only a 45 minute flight from Nairobi
- Offers game drives, cultural visits, bush dinners, sundowners, balloon flights and scenic flights
- Gold Eco-Rated by Ecotourism Kenya and winner of “Africa’s Leading Eco-Lodge” in World Travel Awards 2015
- In the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame. This unique accolade is granted only to those businesses that have won the Certificate of Excellence for five years in a row.
SANCTUARY GORILLA FOREST CAMP
Located within Bwindi National Park, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp offers guests an unrivalled location, including the best bird and wildlife viewing in the Bwindi area.
Due to its unique location, it’s not unusual for the gorilla families to visit the camp itself.
REMOTE AND ATMOSPHERIC
Located within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is the perfect base from which to track the park’s most famous resident – the mountain gorilla. The main area features a comfotable lounge and bar area as well as the main dining area while the mini spa offers a wide selection of treatments. Located within the National Park, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp offers guests an unrivalled location, including the best bird and wildlife viewing in the Bwindi area. In fact Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp often receives regular visits from the gorillas themselves. For the lucky guests in camp at those times, they may have the chance for a gorilla encounter without even leaving Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp.
RELAX IN THE RAINFOREST
The eight tents at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp are stylish and spacious, each featuring two queen sized beds. In addition to the comfortable warm beds, each tent has a huge bathtub that looks straight into the jungle canopy ideal for soaking tired muscles after a day spent observing and meeting gorillas. Observe rare forest species while soaking in the tub, followed by a cocktail on the private viewing deck served by your personal attendant.
DINING IS SILVER SERVICE
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp prides itself in the personalised service we are able to offer our guests. Please let us know if you have any special requests and or dietary requirements.
The bar and dining cottage overlooks the rainforest and a raised natural platform is built for open air-dining. A full English and continental breakfast is served before your morning activity. Trekking gorilla’s today? The camp will pack you a scrumptious lunch including fresh fruit, sweet and savoury delights to take with you. Once back at the camp celebratory drinks and snacks will be served under the stars by the roaring campfire as you discuss your amazing adventure. All meals are à la carte and served in the bar and dining area overlooking the rainforest. Chef Jackson serves a silver service dinner with four to five courses each evening. One of the mains might even include his favourite dish – Matooke rolled chicken with creamed spinach and ground nut sauce. Celebrating a special occasion? We are able to offer romantic private dinners.
The mini spa Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp offers the perfect way to end a long day of gorilla trekking. The spa seems a natural enhancement of the gorilla experience and a chance for your mind to fully absorb the magnitude of your wonderful spiritual encounter; allowing your body and mind to blend with the natural surroundings, whilst recalling those magical moments in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
Treatments to choose from include a deep herbal massage, hydrating facial, foot massage, manicures and pedicures. Our spa therapist, Precious uses only locally found products and she also makes some of her own scrubs and masks with ingredients such as avocadoes and bananas – all bought from the local village.
WHY WE LOVE SANCTUARY GORILLA FOREST CAMP
- Frequently visited by gorilla families due to its unique location
- Exclusive camp with only eight tents, the perfect base for a once in a lifetime trip to track mountain gorillas
- Opportunity for community interaction, including the local Batwa Pygmies
- Specially customised sedan chairs with support and harness allows less able guests to be carried into the rainforest to track the gorillas in their natural habitat
- An established philanthropy project at Bwindi Community Hospital which guests can visit
ACTIVITIES AT GORILLA FOREST CAMP
The gorillas are completely wild but have become used to seeing a few humans after years of habituation. Many of the expert guides have been involved in this process since the beginning and are able to explain the complicated etiquette involved in meeting a giant silverback. This is an opportunity afforded only to a select few, as just eight visitors are allowed to view each group every day. Tracking through dense forest with steep slopes means that participants do need to be physically fit to enjoy the track. Once the gorillas are located, spend a maximum of one hour with them before returning back to camp. Please note only children aged 15 and above can track gorilla.
A tracking permit must be bought in advance in person in Bwindi. We are happy to purchase your permit on your behalf, please contact us for more details.
BATWA TRIBE EXPERIENCE
Learn about and interact with the local Batwa People. This full day activity involves a three hour walk followed by about an hour spent with the Batwa. The walk back to camp is two hours. The visit includes a music performance, visitation by the goddess, hunting and gathering demonstration and an opportunity to see how they live. The Twa tribe who are also known as the Batwa are the oldest inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. They speak the same language as the Hutu and Tutsi groups of Rwanda. Like most of the tribes in Africa, they have moved from place to place and are now found in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and eastern portions of the DRC. Statistics show that by the year 2000 their numbers were approximately 80,000 people, making them a significant minority group in these countries. The first records of the Batwa were made by the Egyptians over 4,000 years ago. They described them as short statured people living near the “Mountains of the Moon” extolling their abilities as dancers and story tellers.
Bwindi boasts over 350 bird species, including 24 that are endemic to these highlands straddling Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo – the so-called the “Albertine Rift Endemics”. For keen birders, we can arrange for a local expert to guide you on a fascinating 2-3 hour walk through the park.
Bwindi is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a spectacular place to visit. In addition to the gorillas, Bwindi is also home to rare forest elephants, giant forest hogs and eleven kinds of primates, such as red tailed and blue monkeys, black and white colobus, baboons and chimpanzees. You can also find forest duiker antelopes, bush buck antelopes and over 200 species of butterflies. We can offer a guided forest walk on the Munyaga waterfall trail. This trail starts from the Park office and ends at the magnificent Munyaga waterfall. The walk to and from the waterfall takes about three hours and is a good way to practice or cool down a day before or after the gorilla tracking.
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK DRIVES
While staying at Gorilla Forest Camp guests are able to venture out on game drives to Ishasha, located in the south of the well known Queen Elizabeth National Park popular for its tree climbing lions, savanna elephants, buffaloes, topi, hippos, various bird species, warthogs and the occational leopard.
The Ishasha Sector is famous for its population of tree-climbing lions. The Lions are normally seen lazily lying within the branches of the huge fig trees staring down at the numerous Uganda Kobs grazing in the open Ishasha plains. This is usually a full day outing where guests are able to stop for lunch at the hippo pool. Departure is 6:30 in the morning.
Bwindi is surrounded on the Buhoma side by the Bakiga community and the Batwa people community. The walk takes about two hours and begins with a stroll through a small tea farming project. Here you can stop to meet the tea pickers and perhaps even learn how to pluck tea leaves along the way. Then visit a local beer brewery and see how they mash bananas to make a fermented brew which is mixed and distilled to make banana beer – a popular local drink in the area. From here walk a short distance to the local hospital which Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp supports through various projects. Learn about how it started and the work they do for the community. Continue your walk to a nearby village and visit a traditional medicine man. The knowledge of using herbs for healing has been passed on from generation to generation and he will show you some of the herbs that grow in the forest and talk about how they are used. Later, relax and enjoy a performance by the Batwa community before returning to the camp.
ACTIVITIES AT OLONANA CAMP
At Sanctuary Olonana, game viewing starts from the camp. A pod of hippos lives permanently in the river just below camp and many other species come to drink there. Sanctuary’s experienced guides take you to all the hidden spots and our customised open safari vehicles offer all-round views, allowing for excellent photography opportunities. The Mara’s rich eco-system includes acacia-studded savannah, riparian forest and woodland which attract more than 300 bird species and a stunning variety of animal life all year round.
CULTURAL VISIT TO MAASAI VILLAGE
Get an insight into the vibrant and still traditional way of life of the Maasai. Learn about the medicinal plants that grow here, the importance of cattle and the stages of life through which all Maasai pass, from young boy or girl to respected elder. Accompanied by an experienced Maasai guide you are invited to visit the village which is built along traditional lines; complete with cattle enclosure, outer palisade and mud and cow dung huts. Meet the elders, their wives and families and learn about the social structure of the homestead, the role of women in their society and many more aspects of their daily life. Interaction and discussion is encouraged, so whether the ladies are building a hut, the warriors are dancing or making fire with stones and sticks, guests are free to join in.
Walk with our naturalist and learn about plants, trees and insects and their use in the daily lives of the Maasai tribe. Visit our award-winning wetlands which cleanses wastewater naturally before returning it to the environment. There is an opportunity to plant a tree, leaving a positive mark in Africa. Our naturalist shares his intimate knowledge of the surrounding environment and how many of the trees and plants are used for medicinal purposes. Watch the hippos, learn to identify the birds from their song, stop and learn about insects and even the fascinating system ants have to build and maintain their ant-hills. Your guide will also point out animal signs which are everywhere, but not that easily noticed.
VISIT TO A SCHOOL
More and more popular are the visits organised by our guides to a variety of local schools during school term. These visits are free but we would recommend a donation to the school of anything upward of $15 per person.
HOT AIR BALLOON SAFARI
Your balloon is inflated against the first rays of sunrise and once aloft floats gently over the plains and the plethora of game. The balloon lands around one hour after taking off with breakfast being prepared nearby. The smells of bacon, sausages and eggs drift on the breeze as you begin breakfast with platefuls of exotic Kenyan fruits and homemade pastries and, of course, glasses of bubbly to toast your flight. (Additional cost)
As the afternoon game drive comes to an end, drive to a specially chosen vantage point overlooking the Mara plains. Drinks are served as you take in the beauty of the rapid sunset colouring the acacia dotted plains and transforming the world in a matter of minutes. Enjoy the warmth of the fire and discuss the day’s adventures as waiters serve canapés and a selection of drinks, with the spectacular setting sun in the horizon.
NEED TO KNOW – KENYA
Maximum of 15kg of luggage per person is allowed for light aircraft flights, including hand luggage and camera equipment. Please ensure that all luggage is soft-sided.
The Kenyan shilling is divided into 100 cents. Notes are issued in denominations of 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 shillings. Coins are issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 40 shillings. 50 cent coins are available, but not commonly used.
The local currency you will need during your stay in Kenya should be obtained at authorised facilities such as banks and foreign exchange bureaus. Currency can also be exchanged at the Nairobi Airport on arrival. It is very difficult to exchange the shilling outside of Kenya so we recommend that you change only as much as you will need. Major credit cards are accepted at most outlets in Kenya. At Sanctuary Olonana we accept Visa, MasterCard or Amex, as well as cash and travellers cheques, and cash at our camp sites.
Tipping is not compulsory and the following suggestions are only guidelines:
- Porter: US $1 per bag
- Driver-guide: US $5-7 per traveller per day – this is normally paid on the last day and is based on 4-6 travellers in the vehicle. If there are only 2 or 3 travellers you may consider increasing this amount to US $6-8 per traveller per day
- Private Luxury Camping: US $10-14 per traveller per day – this should be given to your guide on the last day for distribution among all camp staff. Again, smaller groups (in this case 5 or less) might consider tipping in the slightly higher range of US $12-14 per traveller per day
The climate in Kenya is mainly characterised by warm days and cool evenings. December to March are usually the warmest months of the year, while June to August are the coolest. April and May often see intermittent rains, and from September to November the days are warm with short scattered rains falling in November.
GMT + 3 hours.
Kenya’s official languages are Swahili and English.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN
The South African immigration department has expressed concern about the growing issue of global child trafficking and announced new requirements for adults travelling with children under the age of 18, which will take effect from 1 June 2015.
Parents travelling with children would now be requested to provide an unabridged birth certificate (including the details of the child’s father as well as the mother) of all travelling children. This applies even when both parents are travelling with their children. When children are travelling with guardians, these adults are required to produce affidavits from parents proving permission for the children to travel. The above applies to foreigners and South Africans travelling to or from South Africa as well as travellers in transit.
For more information on Kenya travel please visit http://ktb.go.ke/
PASSPORT & VISA INFORMATION
Travellers should check for visa requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements vary between countries. All travellers, however, must be in possession of a passport with at least six months of validity left beyond the intended departure date from Kenya.
• Foreign visitors may be required to obtain a visa to enter Kenya.
• Please visit http://www.kenya.visahq.com for a full list of nationalities which require visas for entry into Kenya.
• Passports must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of this trip.
• Please Note that immigration requires you to have two blank pages in your passport per entry; without this you will be denied entry.
• International Departure Tax is required by all passengers departing from Kenya. In most cases the tax is included in your international air ticket. If tax has not been included then it must be paid at the airport prior to departure.
NEED TO KNOW – UGANDA
Trekking permits are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and allow you to view a specific group of gorillas for one hour per day. We suggest you check the availability of permits, which we can do for you, before booking any flights or accommodation. Please contact us as we have a few special offers available on permits.
A maximum of 8 people are allowed to trek a specific group of habituated gorillas per a day. The reason for this is to ensure that there is a minimal behavioural disturbance to the gorillas. The trekking itself could last anywhere from 30 minutes up to eight hours as you walk through the beautiful dense Bwindi Forest.
Uganda has 9 gorilla families located in different sides of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and National Park. The Rushegura and Habinyanja Gorilla Families can be tracked from the Buhoma side, which is close to Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp so we would suggest buying permits to track one of these families.
The Ugandan shilling is issued in denominations of 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000 and 50000 shillings for notes, while coins are issued in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 shillings. The local currency can be obtained at authorised facilities (such as banks and foreign exchange bureaus). Foreign currency can also be changed at the airport on arrival. Many establishments will only change USD issued after the year 2003. Be aware that only paper currency will normally be accepted for exchange. Travellers cheques are not widely accepted outside of Kampala. In Uganda, credit card use is usually restricted to major banks and hotels and most shops will not accept other methods of payment other than cash. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp accepts Visa, MasterCard, Amex and JCB credit cards which attract a surcharge of 5%.
Tipping is not compulsory, nor are there any fixed amounts. The customary gratuity is about 10% of the cost of the service. Tips are usually given in Uganda Shillings or US Dollars.
Driver-Guide in Bwindi: a tip of about US$10 per transfer is appropriate for your transfer driver.
On a Gorilla Track: If you choose to take a porter (highly recommended), the minimum recommended tip is US$15 per traveller per track.
Guides (usually 1 per group), Trackers (usually 2-3 per group) and Security personnel (usually 2-4 per group) do earn salaries.
A recommended tip of about US$20 per day of tracking per traveller may be placed in the appropriate tip box for your gorilla group (found at Park Headquarters) for distribution amongst the staff.
PASSPORT & VISA INFORMATION
Each traveller must be in possession of a passport that will remain valid for at least six months beyond the completion of his/her trip. Travellers should check for visa requirements pertaining to their citizenship, as entry requirements vary.
Please note: TSA Bans Powerless Devices From Flights
According to recent rules issued by the US Transport Security Administration (TSA), passengers travelling from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to the US must be able to turn on their electronic devices to prove they are genuine, “Powerless devices” – cellphones and computers that cannot be turned on will not be permitted on board the aircraft.
This was followed by an announcement by the UK Department for Transport regarding stepping up some aviation security measures. “In line with the US advice, passengers on some routes into and out of the UK may now also be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage are powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft.” According to Reuters, TSA officials singled out smartphones, including the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, for extra security checks on U.S.-bound flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
GMT + 3 hours
English is the official national language. Luganda, the most common of the many indigenous languages, is also widely spoken.
In Uganda days are warm, but it almost invariably rains, except in the very driest months of January and February. It can get very cool at night. The year-round weather stays within this range.
For more information on Uganda travel please visit http://www.visituganda.com/index.php
Day 1: On arrival at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport you will be met by a Sanctuary representative who will transfer you to Wilson Airport for your connection to the Masai Mara.
Day 8: Enjoy breakfast at the camp, before your transfer to Kihihi airstrip for your shared scheduled flight back to Entebbe International Airport. This is where your safari will end.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Sanctuary Olonana Kenya
PHOTO GALLERY UGANDA
PHOTO GALLERY KENYA
Dates upon request & subject to availability.
Rates are all inclusive, per person based on 2 people sharing in USD. Single supplement, child rates and third adult rates will be quoted upon request.
Peak Season – $9350pp
High Season – $8050pp
GFC 07 Jan – 31 Mar 2019 & 01-31 October 2019
Olonana 07 Jan – 31 Mar 2019 & 01-30 June 2019 & 01-31 October 2019
Low Season – $6450pp
GFC 1st Apr – 20th June & 1st Nov – 20th Dec 2019
Olonana 01 April – 31 May 2019 & 1st Nov – 20th Dec 2019
- 3 meals a depending on arrival time
- All beverages at GFC & OLO (excluding premium brands and champagne)
- Community walk
- Concession & park fees
- 1x Gorilla permit
- Accommodation at Protea Hotel on Bed and breakfast
- Transfers and airstrip transfers
- Scheduled flights from Entebbe to Kihihi airstrip return
- Meet,greet and assist services at Entebbe Airport
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