12 Sept 2019: Nkuringo - Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Ishasha, Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, you will be transferred a short distance to Nteko village, the start point of an amazing walk through Bwindi forest to the Buhoma sector of the national park. En-route to Nteko, pass breathtaking vistas of the hills, valleys, mountains, villages, and the plains in Democratic Republic of Congo and the North Kivu region.
Set to become one of the most popular walks on offer in Uganda, the 5hr ‘Ivy Trail’ gives guests the chance to encounter various forest-dwelling species of monkey and wonderful birdlife. Take in stunning mountain and canopy views as you descend steeply, crossing the Ivy River into the rainforest. Aside from being a lovely walk through the forest, this route is a crucial in that it links local villages to the westernmost part of the country. It enables areas such as Nkuringo, Rushaga, Lake Mutanda, Kanaba Gap, Echuya Forest, Kisoro and surroundings to be connected, alleviating the need to drive 8 - 10hrs on rough, bumpy, and winding mountainous roads. As this is also effectively a transfer from one lodge to another (from Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge in Nkuringo to Bwindi Lodge in Buhoma) a porter will accompany each guest to carry your daypack.
Along the walk, you should see resident people coming back from the market in Nteko to the Buhoma section of the park, many carrying goods on their heads. Upon exiting the Bwindi forest at Buhoma village, enjoy lunch at Bwindi Lodge, overlooking the rainforest canopy.
After lunch, visit the Conservation Through Public Health’s (CTPH) Gorilla Health and Community Conservation Centre, headed by Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka. ‘Dr Gladys’ as she is affectionately known, started the veterinary unit at Uganda Wildlife Authority, and was the first full time gorilla veterinary doctor in Uganda. CTPH was founded in 2003, when scabies in gorillas was traced back to people resident around the park who have very little access to health care and to education about hygiene and disease prevention. So CTPH set about building a Gorilla Research Clinic, which then became the Gorilla Health and Community Conservation Centre. There, guests receive a behind- the- scenes briefing about gorilla health monitoring, gorilla conservation; community well-being and livelihood. You will learn about work under way with community health, which is essential to prevent diseases being transmitted between humans and gorillas.
Afterwards, meet your driver-guide and 4WD vehicle for the transfer north to the remote Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park (approx. 3hrs drive). During this drive, landscapes change from lush green, fertile and mountainous terrain to hot, dry, and flat savannah country.
Ishasha is an alluring, quiet off-the-beaten track game viewing area and is renowned for its tree-climbing lions. Upon arriving in Ishasha, take a late afternoon game drive en-route to your lodge where you will stay overnight with all meals included.
Accommodation: Enjojo Lodge