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Once the fertile but isolated land ofsuch relatively sophisticatedmedieval kingdoms as theBuganda, Bunyoro, Ankole and Toro,Uganda's 72 years as a Britishprotectorate saw a peaceful andprosperous nation pass into the hands ofDr. Milton Obote at independence in 1962.Yet the subsequent murderous regimes ofboth Obote and Idi Amin saw 24 years ofchaos and anarchy rip this inheritanceapart, before a benevolent PresidentYoweri Museveni came to power in 1986,backed by his highly disciplined NationalResistance Army. Today, after many yearsof peace, Museveni's achievements inrebuilding his country are remarkable.Uganda's large human population ishappy, peaceful and optimistic, and itsmammal population fast recovering.Uganda remains a most beautiful country- a luxuriant land of great lakes,abundant swamps, a snow-clad equatorialmountain range, and rolling grasslands.Yet, above all, it is the country's tropicalforests that provide the greatest attractionfor the naturalist. Here, amongst anunrivalled population of primates are over300 'Mountain' Gorillas. We will focus onthese marvellous animals, and theircousins (including Chimpanzees), on thistour, as well as the wealth of othermammals - more than 340 species! - tobe found in Uganda's abundant and variednational parks.We begin our tour on the peaceful shoresof Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa,then head west to Lake Mburo NationalPark, an attractive area of rolling bush andgrassland set around the lake and itssubstantial papyrus swamp. As well as anabundant birdlife, which includes the rareand elusive African Finfoot, the park ishome to such mammals as Oribi, Burchell'sZebra and Impala, also Bohor Reedbuckwhich we are unlikely to see elsewhere inUganda. After a night here we head westtowards the dramatic mountain ranges thatlie along Uganda's borders with theDemocratic Republic of the Congo andRwanda and overnight in a lovely old-fashioned guesthouse in Kabale, close to Lake Bunyoni where we will take a short boat trip to look for otters and enjoy the scenery. Next we begin the biggest adventure of thetour as we ascend a bumpy, scenic roadthat takes us up to Bwindi ImpenetrableForest, an area of densely forestedmountains, ranging from 1,200 to 2,590metres in altitude, that is home not only toone of Africa's richest forest floras andfaunas, but also to over 300 'Mountain'Gorillas; half of the world's population!During our 3-night stay at Bwindi, those that wish may choose to spend a daytracking one of the three habituated gorillafamilies, a physically demanding full day'strek. The rest of our time at Bwindi will bespent on less arduous forest exploration insearch of the attractive L'Hoest's Monkeyand an assortment of unusual birds. After an exciting stay at Bwindi, we headnorth to Queen Elizabeth National Park.Situated on the Kazinga Channel betweenLake Edward and Lake George, 'QE', as itis affectionately known, is a classic eastAfrican game reserve incorporating rollinggrasslands, craters and crater lakes,tropical forests, papyrus swamps and lakeshore, and offers Uganda's best game-viewing. Great herds of Uganda Kob roamthe grasslands, Giant Forest Hog - soshy and elusive elsewhere in east Africa -is bold and uncaring, and Lion andLeopard are fairly common. Along thebroad Kazinga Channel, herds ofElephant, Buffalo and abundantHippopotamus are encountered by boat,together with a wealth of waterbirds thatinclude both White and Pink-backedPelicans, a variety of herons, storks andwaders, and graceful African Skimmers.QE's spectacular Kyambura Gorge - adeep, forested and isolated chasm in theplains - harbours a small Chimpanzeepopulation, which we will track with thehelp of a park ranger. Kibale Forest, to the east of the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, is our finalport of call - reached by means of someinteresting dirt roads! This wonderful forestis home to an incredible 11 species ofprimates. These include someChimpanzee families that have beenhabituated and which may therefore, withluck, be seen. We may also encounterother rare or colourful primates, such asBlack-and-white Colobus, Red Colobus,L'Hoest's and Grey-cheeked Mangabey.Kibale is also home to a group of forestdwelling Elephants, which are occasionallyheard but rarely seen. Our lodge, perchedon the edge of a crater lake, is set deep inthe heart of rural Uganda - a fitting spotto conclude this action-packed safari! Uganda - Mammals & Mountains A 13-day wildlife safari in search of the mammals, particularly the primates, of Kibale Forest, QueenElizabeth and other national parks, as well as the Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.Friday 18th January - Wednesday 30th January Cost: £3,995Outline itineraryDay 1Fly Entebbe andovernight.Day 2Lake Mburo NationalPark.Day 3Lake Bunyoni.Day 4/6Bwindi ImpenetrableForest.Day 7/9Queen ElizabethNational Park.Day 10/11Kibale National Park.Day 12Depart Entebbe.Day 13Arrive London.AccommodationA combination of comfortablehotels, lodges, tented camps andguesthouses, all with privatefacilities. FoodAll included in the price.GradingA. A traditional African safari,including leisurely walking in theforest reserves. An optional day'sGorilla-tracking can be verystrenuous (Grade D), but rewarding!FocusMammals, particularly Gorillas,Chimpanzees, other primates andbirds.LeaderTony Williams, plus local guide(s).Single room supplement£495.N.B. Gorilla permits are notincluded in the tour cost; thosewishing to spend a day trackingthem must advise us at the earliestopportunity to ensure availability.Please contact us for details andcost.Web quick search: UGA02 176Call now or visit www.naturetrek.co.ukfor your free Trip ItinerarySUDANKENYADEM. REP. OF THE CONGO RWANDABWINDI IMPENETRABLEFOREST (GORILLAS)LAKEMBURUNAT. PARKMOUNTELGONKIDEPO VALLEYNATIONAL PARKLAKEGEORGEKIBALE FORESTGAME RESERVEKAMPALAENTEBBERIVERNILELAKEKYOGARIVER NILEMURCHISON FALLSNATIONAL PARKBUDONGO FORESTRIVER NILELAKE ALBERTLAKEEDWARDKABALEQUEENELIZABETHNAT. PARKUGANDALAKEVICTORIASSESEISLANDSMountain GorillaBwindi Impenetrable ForestUganda Kob

Zambia is a magnificent country, richin areas of pristine wilderness andblessed with countless national parksand wildlife reserves. On this unusualsafari we combine exploration of two ofthe most exciting and most remote ofthese areas with a stay in South Luangwa,one of Africa's finest national parks. OurMay visit coincides with the 'green'season, when the country is at its mostbeautiful, birds are breeding and sportingtheir finest plumages, and when the waterlevels in Kasanka and the BangweuluSwamps are high . and best suited to thespecialist requirements of their mostsought-after inhabitants - the Shoebill,Black Lechwe and Sitatunga. By contrast,our November group arrives with the firstshowers that follow a long dry season; atime when huge numbers of Elephantscongregate around the waterholes ofSouth Luangwa, large colonies of CarmineBee-eaters form, and a spectacular influxof fruit bats transforms Kasanka. We begin in the remote BangweuluSwamps, in the north-eastern corner ofZambia, after a private charter flight fromLusaka. This seasonally inundatedwilderness is not unlike a small-scaleOkavango Delta and, in May, its waterlevels are at their highest after the longrainy season. Unlike the Okavango,however, the Bangweulu Swamps havebeen by-passed by tourism due to theirremote situation and seasonalaccessibility. We will almost certainly have them to ourselves during our 3-nightstay at the only tented camp in the area - fabulously located in the heart of Shoebill country. The endangered Shoebill, a huge andstrangely dodo-like species of stork,breeds in these swamps and may often beviewed from the comfort of our campduring May. However, to see the best ofBangweulu's fine selection of both birdsand mammals, we will spend as much timeas possible exploring the region's lakesand channels in dugout canoes. In additionto the enigmatic Shoebill, Bangweulu hostsa profusion of wetland birds, includingYellow-billed and Knob-billed Duck, White-faced Tree Duck, Hottentot and Red-billedTeal and Long-toed Plover. Other species,such as Fiscal Shrike, White-cheeked Bee-eater and Coppery Sunbird, augment thevariety. The swamps also shelter aremarkable number of mammals, the mostimportant being the Black Lechwe, agraceful, water-loving antelope which canbe found here in herds of tens ofthousands. This unique environment ishome, too, to Elephant, Buffalo, Tsessebe,Oribi and many Sitatunga.Less than 100 kilometres south ofBangweulu lies Kasanka National Park, oneof Zambia's smallest but most diverseparks, holding a rich variety of flora andfauna. Located on the southern fringe of theBangweulu basin, close to the Congoleseborder, it holds an impressive variety ofhabitats, ranging from evergreen swampforest and extensive papyrus marshes, tolarge tracts of miombo woodlandintersected by complex river systems.Lakes, lagoons and alluvial plains add tothe diversity of the region, which we willexplore by boat and in 4-wheel drivevehicles from our comfortable bush camp base. Blue Monkey, a local rarity, and the elusive Yellow-backed Duiker arefound here, together with the shy, swamp-dwelling Sitatunga which probably occurshere in greater concentrations thananywhere else in Africa. We should also find Elephant, Lichtenstein's Hartebeest,Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Black-backedJackal, Yellow Baboon, Spotted Hyaena and Burchell's Zebra whilst, in November,Kasanka hosts a unique wildlife spectacleas around five million fruit bats congregatefrom all across central Africa to feed on the forest fruits, filling the sky at dusk asthey leave their roosts. Birds, too, areabundant in Kasanka, which holds manyspecies that go unrecorded in the rest ofthe country, such as Red and Blue Sunbird,Green-headed Sunbird, Black-backed,Anchieta's and Whyte's Barbets, togetherwith Ross's and Knysna Louries, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Pel's Fishing Owl and Wattled Crane. From Kasanka we will fly to the LuangwaValley for a 4-night stay at the luxuryKafunta River Lodge. Bounded by theMchinga Escarpment to the west and theLuangwa River to the east, the SouthLuangwa National Park supports aconcentration of wildlife unsurpassed insouthern Africa. The sweeping turns of theLuangwa River, full of Hippos and NileCrocodiles, and its complex, ever-changingpans and still waters, provide the backdropfor Lion, Elephant, Greater Kudu, Eland,Puku and a multitude of other animals. Thepark is most famous for its large numbersof Leopards, which we will hope to see onoptional night drives, and a wealth ofwaterbirds and other riverside bird specieswhich include colonies of the exquisiteCarmine Bee-eater.After four days in this magnificent park, wemust fly back from South Luangwa toLusaka to join our return flight to London,reflecting on the remote bush andswampland sights and experiences duringthis very special safari. Zambia - Swamps & South LuangwaA unique 12-day safari to Kasanka and South Luangwa National Parks, and the remote Bangweulu Swamps, in search of the enigmatic Shoebill and other unusual birds and mammals.Sunday 4th November - Thursday 15th November 2012 (Mammal special) Cost: £3,895Sunday 5th May - Thursday 16th May 2013 (Shoebill special) Cost: £3,995Sunday 3rd November - Thursday 14th November 2013 (Mammal special) Cost: £3,995Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationBOTSWANA NAMIBIA ANGOLA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO TANZANIA MOZAMBIQUE MALAWI ZIMBABWE LUANGWA BANGWEULU RIVER SWAMPS KASANKA NATIONAL PARK SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK LUSAKA VICTORIA FALLS LIUWA PLAINS KAFUE RIVER MONGU ZAMBEZI RIVER LAKE KARIBA ZAMBIA Outline itineraryDay 1 Depart London.Day 2/4Bangweulu Swamps.Day 5/6Kasanka National Park.Day 7/10South Luangwa NationalPark.Day 11Lusaka.Day 12Fly London.N.B. Days 2 to 6 are operated inreverse in November, with more timeat Kasanka.AccommodationComfortable permanent tentedcamps and luxury lodges, some withprivate facilities.FoodAll included in the price except forevening meals in Lusaka.GradingA traditional safari-style holiday,wildlife-viewing by vehicle, boat andon foot. Grade A. FocusBirds and mammals. LeaderCliff Waller (May); Andy Smith(November).Single room supplement£495.ExtensionsAvailable on request.Web quick search: ZMB03177Fruit bats, Kasanka National ParkShoebillHippos