Air Kenya and Aerolink Uganda interline service to launch in June 2019
Bucket list travelers seeking to combine a Kenyan safari with gorilla trekking, a boat safari on the Nile, and other uniquely Ugandan adventures will be able to do so easier than ever with new interline air service launching next year. Starting June 1, 2019, Air Kenya will offer service between Mara and Kisumu airports in the Maasi Mara and Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport, connecting with Aerolink’s early afternoon flights to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, and Kidepo Valley National Park.
“This will be an exciting development from the footprints of the big five in the Maasai Mara to the tracks of the gorillas in Uganda,” said Aerolink Uganda’s country manager Anthony Njoroge. Scheduling and pricing are below.
Each of Uganda’s national parks offer a distinct experiences including remarkable wildlife encounters, plentiful birding, and captivating cultural immersions. Those accessible by the Air Kenya/Aerolink interline service are detailed below:
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Tracking the rare mountain gorilla in the remote forests of southwestern Uganda is the country’s foremost tourist attraction and one of the world’s most remarkable wildlife encounters. Tracking gorillas takes anywhere from two to eight hours, and participants can spend one hour amidst a gorilla family once it has been located. Beyond the gorillas, Bwindi boasts 350 birds, 120 mammals, 310 butterflies, 200 trees, and 51 reptiles. Outside of the forest, community walks provide insight into the lives of the Bakinga and Batwa people, the forests’ original inhabitants.
Murchison Falls National Park
Uganda’s largest park is bisected by the Victoria Nile, which is forced through a narrow gorge before plunging 130 feet over a remnant rift wall to create the dramatic Murchison Falls. The Nile is the lifeblood of the park, sustaining large numbers of hippopotamus and crocodile and providing the basis for its signature activities which include morning game drives across the grasslands to the shores of the Albert Nile, cruises to the wildlife-rich river banks at the foot of the falls, and hiking to the top of the falls. Murchison is home to 450 bird species and 76 mammal species including elephant, giraffe, leopard, lion, buffalo, and more. Fun fact: the 1951 film “The African Queen” starring Humphrey Bogart was filmed in the park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Uganda’s most visited park, Queen Elizabeth National Park sits in the Albertine Rift Valley in western Uganda near the Rwenzori Mountains. The park is a birder’s paradise, home to more than 600 species – the highest concentration in East Africa. Queen Elizabeth boasts 95 mammal species including four of the “Big Five” – elephant, lion, leopard, and buffalo – and is also known for the tree climbing lions that reside in its southern Ishasha sector. The park spans the equator line, and monuments on either side of the road mark the exact spot where it crosses latitude 00. Queen Elizabeth is designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, an area focused on maintaining a sustainable and balanced relationship between nature and communities that reside within the park.
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park offers remote, rugged African wilderness. Big game including elephant, giraffe, lion, cheetah, zebra, eland, hartebeest, hyena, and one of Africa’s largest herds of buffalo call Kidepo home. Vast grasslands extend in all directions toward distant mountain ranges providing an unmatched feeling of solitude.