DAY 1 TO 3.
Meet on arrival at the airport and transfer to the Serena Kampala hotel for an overnight. Depending on arrival time, you may right away start your guided cultural experience. Kampala Serena hotel will be your starting point for the next 3 day’s tour around the Kabaka’s (King’s) trail. Depending on the weather, you may start with different sites outlined below hence No clear order but our emphasis is to cover most areas.
The heritage trails sites commonly referred to as Kabaka’s trail, offer an option for excursions while in Kampala, taking you through the culture of the Buganda kingdom, the oldest kingdom of Uganda. You will visit up to six sites showcasing the Buganda heritage and Uganda social life through traditional dances, artifacts, meals, guided walks, medicinal gardens and storytelling. You have an option of taking a Buganda traditional lunch at one of the heritage trails sites.
NAGALABI BUDDO, This is one of the Buganda kings’ coronation site. While there, you will be taken through the kings coronation tour as it is done whenever the new king goes on power. It is the place where you also listen to the story of the origin of Buganda kingdom and what the names of places in Buganda all mean and how they were made up.
KATEREKE PRISONS DITCH – It is at this place where you learn the brutal side of the Buganda kings practices where one of the kings prepared a prison ditch for his brothers to ensure that they don’t take the throne from him as new kings. Whoever proved strong or planning to escape was killed or bitten by the snakes that were being reared in the barrier within the ditch around the island where they were kept. At the moment different people come to this place to ask for blessings from their ancestors. On your way to the prison ditch, you will stop at the point where the 1900 agreement was signed between Buganda kingdom and the British government and learn all the background information about this agreement.
SUNA II WAMALA TOMBS – 30 minutes drive from Kampala along Hoima road on a hill top about 2.5 km after the right turn into the dirt road.
NAMASOLE KANYANGE CULTURAL CENTRE, Namasole is a title given to the queen mother of a king in Buganda culture. This is the tomb of the known beautiful queen mother of suna II buried at wamala. It is located 25 minutes drive from Kampala on Bombo road, turn left at Kagoma trading centre.
SSENZIWA FALLS HERITAGE SITE, also known as a place of black water, is the location where the Buganda king used to appoint the chiefs. it is located in a 45 minute drive from Kampala of Jinja road. The ssezibwa falls site is now under operations of Ssezibwa Falls resort offering a good picnic site, restaurant overlooking the beautiful view of the falls. The local community normally practices traditional rituals and sacrifices with several shrines in the rocky setting of the area. This black water of the pull bellow the falls is also believed to heal different ailments and gives blessings to the people once bathed in.
BAGALAYAZE HERITAGE SITE, this is the centerpiece of the Bagalayaze community is the site of the Nnamasole Bagalayze Tombs where the mother of Kabaka Mwanga II was laid to rest at the beginning of the 20th century – a historically important site for the Kingdom of Buganda. Today, the community uses the enclosure as a cultural center where they celebrate the people and history. You will enjoy traditional performances (to be requested and booked in advance and only done if you are more than a reasonable number of guests), taste authentic Buganda dishes, and hear vividly told stories about the kings and queens of Buganda. In addition to performances and storytelling, you can witness and even take part in traditional demonstrations of bark cloth and crafts making.
The above excursions will be _dotted_ with tours and visits of the cathedrals (both Protestant and catholic churches), museum, National theater, temples, mosques, Namugongo Martyrs shrine, Ndere cultural center for evening traditional dinner and dances.
Accommodation for 3 nights at Kampala Serena including Lunch and Transport all included.
DAY 4: KAMPALA- KIBALE NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast drive to Fort Portal. The drive will take you through the verdant countryside and traditional homesteads and farms. Lunch at the lodge. Meals and overnight accommodation Included. Ndali lodge/Kyaninga lodge (Upmarket), Primate lodge (Mid-range)
DAY 5: CHIMPANZEE TRACKING – KIBALE FOREST
Arise early morning, dress for the jungle, have a cup of tea to lighten up your day. You will be briefed about the activity prior to entering the ever green Forest. Fresh breaths, cool air from the forest, entertainment from the birds, soaring monkeys, supervisory chimps, flying butterflies are wonderful food for the eyes and the mind that leave everlasting memories. The guide will provide detailed explanations on not only primates, but also on all the forest’s fauna and flora, ensuring that your walk is both informative and enjoyable. Return to the lodge for a warm meal to strengthen you for an afternoon guided nature walk in Bigodi wetland located in Magombe Swamp. The wetland is a home to various animal species like the Red tailed monkey, Vervet monkey, Black and white colobus monkey, Baboons among others. Various bird species and butterflies find this a perfect place to call home. Meals and overnight accommodation Included. Ndali lodge/Kyaninga lodge (Upmarket), Primate lodge
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DAY 6. CULTURAL TOUR-TORO KINGDOM
Breakfast, drive 10 Kms out of Fort-portal town for a visit to the caves popularly known as ‘Amabere Ga’yinamwiru'(meaning Breasts of Nyinamwiru) who was a daughter to one of the legendary rulers, a proud attractive girl that refused to marry a man the father chose for her, as a result, the father punished by cutting off her breasts, threw them in this area then they later grew into scenic rocks with a dripping white liquids assumed to be milk. You will walk through a snake-size path towards the caves/breasts and suddenly be welcomed by an amazing waterfall. The local guide will take you through the whole story.
After lunch you will visit the Toro Kingdom. The Royal House of Toro represents the senior line of the Babito Dynasty of Bunyoro-Kitara (Ruling family). The kingdom came into being in 1822 when Prince Kaboyo rebelled against his father and seized the premier provinces of the kingdom. The palace is decorated with old photos of the 13 Kings that have been on the throne including the youngest King in the world who succeeded his father at the age of 3 years. The royal regalia is kept at the same place ,meet the elders/caretakers who will take through the rich history of the old Kingdom. Later drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari lodge
DAY 7: GAME VIEWING SAFARI – QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
After an early morning rise, and a cup of your favourite beverage, embark on a morning game drive along Kasenyi track and Queens’ mile in the park and keep a watch out for Lion, Elephant, Cape buffalo, Warthogs, Leopard, Hyena, Mongoose, Waterbuck, Ugandan Kob, and lots of the many small animals and birds. After the game drive return to the Lodge for lunch. After lunch, enjoy a unique boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colorful and stupendous with well over 600 recorded species having been spotted. Retire in the later afternoon. Meals and overnight accommodation Included. Mweya Safari lodge
DAY 8: QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK – BWINDI
An early morning rise with a cup of your favourite beverage then embark on a morning game drive along Kasenyi track and Queens’ mile in the park. Keep a watch out for Lion, Elephant, Cape buffalo, Warthogs, Leopard, Hyena, Mongoose, Waterbuck, Ugandan Kob, and lots of the many small animals and birds. After the game drive, proceed to Bwindi via the Ishasha sector (famous for its tree climbing Lions) of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. As you drive along the road you should see a multitude of animals. Have lunch on arrival at the park. The afternoon is both spent visiting and getting entertainment from the local people or just relaxing at the lodge or camp. Meals and overnight accommodation Included. Bwindi lodge (Up market), Silverback lodge (Mid-range)
DAY 9: GORILLA TRACKING IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST
Wake up call, dress for the jungle, have breakfast and with packed lunch, walking stick and water, drive to the park headquarters for a briefing. You will then enter in to the gorilla sanctuary referred to as an impenetrable and spectacular rainforest. It is densely landscaped and also crisscrossed by numerous animal trails that make it easy for trekkers to stroll through as they search for these awesome, shy and peaceful gorillas. The thrill of spending time with, observing and photographing these gentle giants is a rare and moving adventure that will leave you with long lasting memories of a unique experience. Spend an hour with them. Return to the lodge or camp. Meals and overnight accommodation Included. Bwindi lodge (Up market), Silverback lodge (Mid-range)
DAY 10: BATWA EXPERIENCE
Breakfast, go for the full day Batwa Experience.
A briefly Introduction on the Batwa People.
Until recently, Bwindi’s mountain gorillas shared their forest with the Batwa pygmies, a tribe of hunter-gatherers who lived in caves and trees for more than 4,000 years. Although they never hunted gorillas, the Batwa’s proximity increased the risk of infection to animals that share 98 per cent of human DNA.
When the National Park was gazetted in 1991, the Batwa were evicted from the forest to protect the primates, becoming conservation refugees. With no land rights or compensation, they were left to fend for themselves, living in a society that stigmatised them and for which they were totally unprepared.
Only an estimated 4,000 Batwa live in south-west Uganda, about 1,000 of them in the Kanungu district, which includes Bwindi. In 2000, a survey conducted by an American physician, Dr Scott Kellerman, and his wife, Carol, revealed shocking statistics: life expectancy of the Batwa was 28 years, and four in 10 would die before their fifth birthday. The tribe was dying out, along with its unique culture and intimate knowledge of the forest.
Spend a day tracking up the mountain with the Batwa elders and an interpreter and learn about their culture, their way of life and their astounding knowledge of the forest. Learn how to use a bow and arrow and go on a mock duiker hunt. Share in the daily life of this mystical tribe while you learn their song and dance and wonder in their medicinal plant knowledge.
Return for dinner and overnight accommodation at Bwindi lodge (Up market), Silverback lodge (Mid-range)
DAY 11: BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST – LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK
Enjoy breakfast, check out and drive to Lake Mburo National Park, a very special place alive with variety interest and colour. Arrive in time for lunch, enjoy the meal and then embark on a game drive. The game drive will take you along the lakeshore track, game trails and cleared walkways. Lake Mburo has a wider range of activities available to choose from, as there are Horseback Safaris, Night drives, and walking safaris. However after the gorilla trek you might just want to relax and enjoy the peace of this stunning park. Mihingo lodge (Up market), Mantana Tented Camp (Mid-range)
DAY 12: RETURN TRIP TO KAMPALA-JINJA
Depart from Lake Mburo to Kampala, having a game drive en-route. Have a stopover at the equator for photography and then leisurely continue with the journey. Lunch will be in Kampala. Proceed to the airport for your departure flight