Mountain Gorillas and Zanzibar Honeymoon
Embark on a honeymoon of a lifetime. Come face to face with the mighty mountain gorilla before jetting off to the white sandy beaches of Zanzibar for a week of luxury and indulgence.
Prices: On request
Duration: 10 nights
Availability: Year round
Destinations: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Zanzibar Island
i) Interacting with the endangered mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
ii) Enjoy utter luxury and indulgence on the white sand beaches of Zanzibar
iii) Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stone Town
iv) Snorkel or dive in the crystal clear waters around Zanzibar
Our Gorillas and Zanzibar Luxury Honeymoon has been carefully crafted to offer you two perfectly contrasting but equally memorable experiences. By combining arguably the world’s greatest wildlife experience with the other-wordly beach experience of Zanzibar you will be treated to an unforgettable honeymoon. Accommodation has been carefully chosen to offer luxury at both Bwindi and Zanzibar where you will be treated like royalty. Experiences, service and the natural beauty of your surroundings, everything is as it should be for your special once in a lifetime honeymoon.
Best time to visit?
So when is the best time of year to take this trip to maximise your overall experience? Without knowing you yet this is a difficult question to answer. With so many variables to consider we need to know what is important to you before we advise on the preferable time for you.
There are many variables to consider when attempting to recommend the best time to visit. Specific considerations include the whereabouts of migratory animals, the effect the density of the vegetation and height of the grass has on wildlife viewing, special wildlife moments such as the birth of baby animals, and the effect weather patterns has on wildlife behaviour. Other factors to consider are the variation in prices at different times of the year, visitor traffic, whether you prefer a lush or relatively arid environment and of course the annual climate, namely temperature and rainfall values.
For this reason we present detailed information for each individual destination in the locations section to help you understand what may work best for you. We will of course have an in-depth discussion with you prior to making a booking so you are completely happy with the time of year you decide to travel.
- Mountain gorilla trekking
- Nature walks
- Community visits
- Snorkelling at Zanzibar
- Beach activities
- PADI 5 star diving
- Domestic return flight Entebbe to Kihihi Airstrip
- International flight Entebbe to Zanzibar Island
- All airport transfers in Uganda & Zanzibar
- 10 nights accommodation as stated
- All meals as stated
- Drinks at Zawadi
- Included activities as mentioned above
- All relevant taxes and surcharges
- International flight to Uganda
- International flight from Zanzibar
- Airport transfers in home country
- Meals not stated
- Drinks at Mahogany Springs Lodge
- Applicable VISAS
- Tips and gratuities
- Health innoculations and medications
Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure Begins
Board your overnight international flight to Entebbe International Airport, Uganda.
No.5 Boutique Hotel, Entebbe (L, D)
This morning you will arrive in Uganda and be met by one of our enthusiastic representatives at Entebbe International Airport. You will be transferred to your accommodation where you will have the opportunity to laze around the swimming pool and contemplate the exciting journey ahead. For wildlife enthusiasts, and those with energy in abundance, there may be an opportunity to visit the nearby Mabamba Swamps to observe and photograph the elusive and prehistoric shoebill stork.
Mahogany Springs Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (B, L, D)
This morning you will take the short ride back to Entebbe Airport to catch your flight to Kihihi Airstrip close to Bwindi National Park. The airport is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, therefore offering you a birds-eye view of the world’s third largest lake. Panoramic views from above helps you experience and appreciate the beauty of Uganda’s topography.
On arrival at Kihihi you will be met by a representative from Mahogany Springs Lodge and transferred to the accommodation. The transfer to the Buhoma sector of the park takes approximately one and a half hours on bumpy roads. Sit back and admire the beautiful scenery and culture of the area and enjoy the only free African massage of your trip.
Mahogany Springs is the perfect place to introduce you to the forest. Its open design invites the atmosphere of the forest indoors. Relax on the verandah with a cold beverage whilst listening to the chatter of the forest. For those who are feeling eager to experience the forest the lodge offers guided nature walks, visits to the indigenous Batwa Tribe or a trip to the local community neighbouring the lodge.
Mahogany Springs Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (B, L, D)
Today is the day you embark on arguably the world’s greatest wildlife interaction experience, a meeting with the gorillas of Bwindi. After a hearty breakfast you will be transferred to the gorilla trailhead at Buhoma in time for the briefing by your Uganda Wildlife Authority guide. After discovering which family you will be visiting you will begin the steep trek deep into the forest. An advance party of trackers will have headed into the forest to locate where the gorillas slept the previous night and begin to track their recent movements. The duration is dependent on the whereabouts of the gorillas. Occasionally they may be close to the trailhead but sometimes they may be located 3-4 hours of difficult trekking deep into the jungle.
On locating the gorillas you will have 1 hour to spend with them as to minimise disturbance to their daily habits. This is a magical hour and the experience will be unique to you and your group. Each family and each day is different so your experience will be entirely unpredictable. Some families will accept your presence and get on with their daily routine. Other families on other days may be more interested in you and intend on interacting with you.
Zawadi, Zanzibar (All inclusive)
Enjoy breakfast overlooking the forest for the final time before heading back to Kihihi Airstrip in preparation for your flight back to Entebbe. At Entebbe you will board your connecting flight to Zanzibar Island, arriving in the evening. On arrival a representative from Zawadi will welcome you to the Spice Island before transferring you to Zawadi. The journey will take approximately 60 minutes. And relax…. your arrival at Zawadi will mark the beginning of your 6 nights of rest and recuperation on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Dinner awaits after a long day travelling.
Zawadi, Zanzibar (All inclusive)
The days here are so much more relaxed. How you choose to spend your time very much depends on how you feel at the time. You can go for complete rest and recuperation where reading your book is occasionally punctuated by a dip in the infinity pool, or fine dining is complementing by a massage in the spa.
Those feeling a bit more energetic can continue their wildlife experience underwater by snorkelling or diving at the PADI 5 star dive centre. Kitesurfing, sea kayaking and paddleboarding are also an option for those in need of burning a bit of energy.
Culture enthusiasts would be well advised to take a day trip to Stone Town, the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Zanzibar City, to learn of the somewhat turbulent and dark history of the island.
The End of Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure
Although today marks the end of your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure and indeed your honeymoon you will have made memories together that you will carry long into your married lives.
You will be transferred back to the airport at Zanzibar in preparation for your international flight to your final destination.
No.5 Boutique Hotel
Overview: Nestled in the leafy suburbs of Entebbe, Hotel No.5 is a stylish boutique hotel. Only a short hop from Entebbe International Airport, the hotel is an ideal place to base yourself either before or after your wildlife adventure. With all luxurious rooms opening onto the garden and swimming pool, this is a great option for guests looking for an intimate stay in a tranquil setting.
Accommodation: 10 luxury suites in double or twin configuration and 5 luxury apartments. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, television and fully equipped en-suite bathrooms.
Facilities & Amenities: Outdoor swimming pool, gymnasium, fine dining restaurant, a cocktail bar and a Spa & Wellness Centre.
Power & communication: The hotel operates on full electrical power. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the property. Mobile phone network coverage is widely available.
Activities: Enjoy the hotel’s facilities. Mabamba Wetlands shoebill tour may be booked externally. Explore Entebbe.
Children: All ages are welcome.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Overview: Set back on the pristine water of the Munyanga River and facing the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the natural setting of Mahogany Springs is beyond imagination. It is quite simply the perfect place to base yourself for tracking the endangered mountain gorillas.
Accommodation: Ten luxurious suites. Each has its own private terrace to enjoy panoramic views over the river and forest. Bed configuration in the superior suites can be twin, double or even triple. The lodge also boasts a presidential suite that houses two bedrooms and two bathrooms. It can be configured as a double, twin, triple or quadruple. This option is ideal for families. There is also a honeymoon suite with the same high-specification design as the other suites but with particular enhancements such as a Jacuzzi style bath tub.
Facilities & Amenities: The main building is equipped with a living room with open fireplace. Here you are welcome to borrow a book from the library or relax watching a DVD. The inviting bar serves up a great selection of wines and beverages. Relax in the bar or take your drink outdoors to the large terrace and listen to the sounds of the forest interspersed with the flow of the river. The dining room serves up a-la-carte meals that change on a daily basis.
Power & communication: All suites come with full electrical power including charging sockets in the room and en-suite bathrooms with all the expected amenities. Free WiFi is also available. Mobile phone network coverage can be unpredictable.
Activities: The main activity and reason for guests to visit is for the opportunity to track mountain gorillas in the nearby forest. However, other activities are on offer at Mahogany Springs, including, but not exclusive to, bird watching, tree planting, various local nature walks, cultural visits to see the Batwa Tribe and a tour of the local community.
Children: Kids of all ages are welcome at the lodge but please note only those aged 15 or above are permitted to visit the gorillas.
Accessibility: Mahogany Springs can be reached by road from Kampala or Entebbe but is most often accessed by air. The flight from Entebbe to the nearby Kihihi Airstrip takes approximately 1 hour.
Overview: Zawadi Hotel is located on the south-east coast of Zanzibar close to the village of Bwejuu. Although called a hotel it is little more than a luxury lodge. The property is wonderfully located atop a cliff and enjoys breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. The cliff recedes in its middle to create a pristine white sandy beach. Guests have access to the beach via a short staircase. Unusually for Zanzibar with its tidal waters there is always water for swimming even during low tide.
Accommodation: . With only 9 spacious villas (100 m²) Zawadi offers an intimate experience. Each villa is equipped with a walk-in shower, private plunge pool, free standing bathtub and double vanity sink. All villas are equipped with satellite tv, mini bar and air conditioning.
Facilities & Amenities: Public areas include an infinity swimming pool, ocean view pool bar and dining area, PADI 5 star diving centre and a massage room.
Power & communication: Full mains electricity throughout the property. Free WiFi in all the rooms. Reliable mobile phone network coverage.
Activities: Relax on the beach or partake in energetic activities. The aforementioned diving centre offers easy access diving in the lagoon just off shore or further afield. Zawadi also offers kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkelling equipment. Other facilities available at nearby sister hotels are tennis courts, kite surfing and sailing.
Children: Kids 16 years and above are welcome. Kids any age are welcome if the entire hotel is booked exclusively by one group/party.
Special Offers: Zawadi is perfect for honeymooners or those wanting high end luxury. The owners offer excellent honeymoon discounts so please do let us know if you are booking for your honeymoon.
- Special Status: UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Location: South-west Uganda
- Land mass: 321 km²
- Mammal species: 120
- Bird species: 348
- Big 5 reserve: No
- Mountain gorilla trekking experiences
- Mountain gorilla habituation experiences
- Forest walks and hikes
- Bird watching
- Batwa pygmies cultural experiences
- Indescribable interactions with mountain gorillas
- Beautiful wilderness
- Exceptional lodge options
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in south-west Uganda. At only 321 km² it is a relatively small wildlife sanctuary by African standards. Despite its small size it packs quite a punch in terms of biodiversity and of course its main attraction, the rare and endangered mountain gorillas.
It is renowned as being one of the best places on the planet in which to interact with wild mountain gorillas. The Mubare gorilla group at Buhoma was the first to be habituated for tourism in Bwindi way back in 1993. There are now fifteen habituated groups tracked from four trailheads. Three of the groups are found at Buhoma in northwest Bwindi, four at Ruhiji in the east, and eight at the park’s southern trailheads at Nkuringo and Rushaga.
Although this is overwhelmingly the primary reason for tourists to visit Bwindi it must be recognised these forests are amongst the most biodiverse areas in Africa. The forest consists of more than 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns. These in turn support an astonishing 120 species of mammals, 202 species of butterflies and 348 species of birds. Mammal species include the mountain gorilla, common chimpanzee, forest elephant, L’Hoests monkey and black and white colobus monkey, amongst others. Activities other than mountain gorilla activities include birding, forest nature walks and cultural interactions with Batwa and Bakiga tribes.
Its location in the south-west naturally ensures it is often used within a safari circuit along with Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale National Park. Bwindi can be accessed by both air and road. Travellers can fly from Entebbe International Airport or Kampala’s Kajjansi Airfield to Kisoro (for Nkuringo, Rushaga and Ruhija) and to Savanna and Ishasha Airstrips (for Buhoma). Buhoma is about 460 kilometres from Kampala which on Uganda’s roads is an arduous journey. Visitors often approach from the north after completing safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). The southern sector of QENP, Ishasha, is 62 km from Bwindi.
Best Time To Visit
Bwindi has a wet but mild climate and is accessible all year round. Temperatures are pretty consistent throughout the year with daytime highs of 23 degrees Celsius dropping to lows of 11 degrees Celsius overnight. The altitude in the park varies from 1300 metres to 2462 metres above sea level and sees approximately a 6.5 degrees Celsius decrease in temperature for every 1000 metre of altitude gained.
With the absence of a true dry season rain can occur at any time. However, the least rainfall occurs in the months of June to August and between December and February. The wettest months are October and November and March to May. However, don’t be put off going at these times of year as you may experience rain at any time of year.
The high season months of June to September see the heaviest tourist traffic and gorilla permits can be difficult to obtain at this time of year. However, overcrowding is never an issue due to strict permit regulations limiting the number of tourists visiting each gorilla family.
The low season months of March to May and November can be an excellent time to travel for those considering a tighter budget. Gorilla permits are reduced from $600 to $450 during these months which represents excellent value.
Overall, Bwindi offers an excellent experience at any time of year.
- Special Status: Stone Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Location: Indian Ocean – 22 kilometres off the coast of Tanzania
- Land mass: 2461 km²
- Marine species: 1000+ fish species
- Mammal species: 54
- Bird species: Approximately 240
- Cultural day trips
- Spa & relaxation
- Beach and water-based activities (windsurfing & kitesurfing)
- White pristine beaches
- A visit to historic Stone Town
- Visit the endangered red colobus monkeys at Jozani Forest
- Swimming with whale sharks
- Underwater safari
Zanzibar Island, more accurately known by its official name of Unguja, is the largest island in the Zanzibar Archipelago. The archipelago consists of more than 50 islands and islets. The island is 2461 km² and is little more than 85 kilometres at its longest point and 30 kilometres at its widest. Despite its relatively small size it is packed with interesting culture and history, world-class coral reefs, inland forests, and miles upon miles of beaches.
Located only 25 kilometres from the coast of Tanzania and with an excellent aviation infrastructure, Zanzibar is easily accessed and combined with the famous safari areas on the mainland. The one important thing to consider with Zanzibar is the sea is tidal in many parts. For some this is not a problem and the allure of a reef walk outweighs any potential negatives. However, for those that like access to swimming in the sea at any given moment it can cause frustration. This can be avoided by staying in the north of the island as the beaches of Nungwi and Kendwa are non-tidal, as is the case at Pongwe beach as it is nestled in a cove.
Relaxation and recuperation are what many people come to Zanzibar for but for those wanting to gain experiences there are endless activities to keep you busy for weeks. Visiting Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and capital of Zanzibar, is a must. Guests often combine 1 or 2 nights here prior to heading off to their chosen beach destination. Snorkelling and diving are excellent ways to extend your safari and swimming with whale sharks is one of the most exhilarating marine wildlife experiences on the planet. The endemic red colobus monkeys at Jozani Forest are a must and there’s often a great opportunity to get up close with them. Continuing on the wildlife theme is a visit to Prison Island, not actually a prison but a former leper colony, to observe Aldabra giant tortoises.
Best Time To Visit
The main factor our guests consider during the planning phase of any trip to Zanzibar is overwhelmingly the climate. The island’s weather patterns perfectly complement those of the safari destinations on the Tanzanian mainland making for an easy combination itinerary.
March to May are considered to be the months of the long rains with April followed by May being the overwhelmingly wettest months of the year. Rainfall at this time of year can be torrential and persistent. The temperatures exceed 30 degrees Celsius with high humidity.
June sees a dramatic drop in rainfall and signals the start of the dry season which runs through to October. Temperatures and humidity drop during June, July and August before rising again in September and October. It is an extremely good time to visit Zanzibar.
The rains return in November and December but are less reliable and heavy than earlier in the year. January and February see a respite in precipitation before the cycle begins in earnest again in March.
Zanzibar boasts year round exceptional conditions for diving and snorkelling with water temperatures ranging from 26 to 29 degrees Celsius and visibility reliably ranging between 12 and 40 metres.
Wildlife enthusiasts must take note of the whale shark migration season. Between October and March Zanzibar’s waters are populated by the world’s largest fish.
As with mainland Tanzania, accommodation prices correlate closely with the weather patterns. The dry season months being the hardest on your wallet, the long rainy season prices being the least expensive, and the other months offering a compromise.