Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees in Uganda
8 Day Trekking / Safari Tour, Accommodated
Tour Price: from 2,800 USD
Activity Package: 520 USD
Single Supplement: 570 USD
This 8-day lodge safari through Uganda takes you to experience this wonderful country that borders Lake Victoria. Uganda lies on the equator and about 20% of the country is covered in forests. On this small-group safari you search for the tree-climbing lions in the Queen Elizabeth National Park and join a walking safari in the Lake Mburo National Park. However, the absolute highlight will be the most spectacular trekking adventure – a visit to the last mountain gorillas still living in their natural habitat.
Day 1-4 ; Uganda
- Lake Mburo National Park: Game drives, walking safari, boat cruise
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: Hiking, Gorilla trekking
Day 5-8; Uganda
- Queen Elizabeth National Park: Game drives (optional)
- Kazinga Canal: Boat cruise
- Kibale National Park: trekking
Day 1 Guests arriving in Entebbe, Uganda (always on a Monday)
After your arrival in Entebbe you are picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Kampala. Kampala is the biggest city in Uganda and relatively safe. Locals are friendly and welcoming. If there is time, see the museum, temples or browse the markets. You will overnight at the Cassia Lodge located on a hill overlooking Lake Victoria and Kampala or a similar quality lodge.
Day 2 Kampala, Uganda - Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda
Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 5-6h
After breakfast you begin your adventurous and travel to the small Lake Mburo National Park where you will arrive in the afternoon. The park is a mosaic of habitats, 15 lakes forming a wetland system, acacia forest en rolling hills covered in grass. These habitats are home to a variety of creatures from crocodiles, otter and waterbirds in the wetlands to herds of especially zebras, elands, impala and the rare sitatunga. Bird-lovers will be in heaven as more than 300 species have been counted here including the comical shoebill stork – its beak the shape of a huge shoe! After checking-in at your accommodation you join a game drive and a walking safari accompanied by an armed ranger but there are no big predators in the park. You will overnight at the Mantana Tented Camp with tents on wooden platforms and verandas overlooking the lake.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Distance approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 7-8h
Depending on your departure time there might be time to join a boat trip on Lake Mburo, not included in the price. On the lake you might see fat floating hippos, crocodiles and a variety of other animals quenching their morning thirst at the lake. Later you travel to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where you will join a short hike in the forest to prepare the afternoon you will do a short hike to prepare for the next day’s gorilla trekking. It is not called ‘impenetrable’ for nothing, vegetation here is dense and the paths are steep and slippery. You will stay at the Silverback Lodge or at the Mantana Engagi Lodge.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Today is definitely the highlight of your trip. You take on the forest where the last few hundred mountain gorillas live (optional activity, not included in the price). The gorillas consist of different groups or families, spread around the national park. Gorillas live in big families with up to 20 members and in search of food they are always on the go in the National Park. Every group is led the huge silverback male. The different groups are used to human presence can be visited in a group of maximum eight people and for a maximum time of one hour. After a short briefing at the park’s office you will set off. Depending on which gorilla group you will be visiting, the duration of the trek can last anything from 1 to 6 hours. As the gorillas move around, there is no guarantee that they will be at the same spot as the day before so a group of rangers are sent ahead to find them. Their exact location is then passed over to your group by 2-way radio. Visitors are divided into groups by rangers. Once you have reached the gorillas, you spend one hour close to these gentle giants as they eat, play and sleep – almost human in their behaviour. See how the leader interacts with his group, which always gather around their chief. Those not wishing to participate in this day activity enjoy the day at leisure. You will spend another night at the Silverback Lodge or at the Mantana Engagi Lodge.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Should there only be permits for gorilla trekking available in Rwanda, the program is amended accordingly. The trekking and overnight will then take place in the Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda.
Day 5 Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda - Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Distance approx. 230 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h
After breakfast you are transferred to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, the next highlight on your trip. Many species including the giant forest hog, chimpanzee, hippo, elephant and the legendary tree-climbing lions of the Ishasha Sector can be found in this wetland park. Once you have arrived in the park, you will join a game drive on your way to the lodge. You might lucky to spot be famous tree-climbing lions lounging in the sycamore fig tree or sometimes acacia trees. Cape buffalo, Uganda kob, waterbuck, warthog, lion, leopard, hyena, giant forest hog as well as elephants live on the grasslands of this park. You will overnight at the Ishasha Tented Camp.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Game drives in the park
The morning will be spent on a game drive in the national park while travelling to your next overnight stop. At lunchtime you should arrive at the Mweya Safari Lodge in the northern part of the park. In the afternoon you will join a boat trip on the 32km long Kazinga channel a natural waterway connecting Lake Edward with Lake George. This channel is infested with Nile crocodile and hippos Many other animals gather here for drinks. With a bit of luck you might even be able to see one of the rather rare members of the "Big Five" – a leopard. You will overnight at the Mweya Safari Lodge.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda - Kibale National Park, Uganda
Distance approx. 150 km; driving time approx. 2-3h
After another game drive in the park you continue to the Kibale National Park. This mountain and rainforest system with grasslands and swamp-sections are in direct connection with the savannah regions of the southerly situated Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Kibale National Park is home to more than 300 different bird species and has one of the highest densities of primates in the world - 13 different species live here. Apart from the chimpanzees you might see black and white colobus, redtails and baboons. In the afternoon you will be briefed before you begin your trekking to the chimpanzees. The average walking time is between one and two hours, depending on where the group is. Once you have spotted the group, you will spend one hour with the animals. Your experienced guide will educate you about their life and social behaviour. Groups can consist of up to 120 members – several males and females and a horde of babies. You observe these human-like creatures as the play, communicate and eat, often scampering screaming up and down trees. Dinner will be served once you return to your overnight accommodation - the Primate Lodge Kibale.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 Kibale National Park, Uganda - Kampala, Uganda
Distance approx. 400km; driving time approx. 6-7h
After breakfast you head back to Kampala, where you can spend another night. Explore this friendly city’s markets and casinos or join another tour to see more of Africa. Otherwise you are transferred back to Entebbe airport.
We will gladly design an individual program to extend your visit to Africa after your trekking.You can do another additional safari in East Africa or end your trip on one of the white, sandy beaches of the Indian Ocean before you head back home.
- Safari according to the itinerary
- 7 nights accommodation in hotels, camps or lodges as indicated in the itinerary
Transport in a 4x4 safari vehicle
Professional English-speaking guide
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Mineral water while on safari
- Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
- National parks fees
- 1 chimpanzee permit
- Flights (international and domestic)
- Meals not indicated in the itinerary
- Beverages (alcohol and soft drinks)
- Optional activities
- Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance
- Gorilla permit
How big is the group and where are my fellow travellers from?
- Group sizes vary however there is a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 travellers per group.
- Travellers are from all over the world and from all walks of life.
Is there an age limit on tour?
- As per the national park authorities, the minimum age for visiting the gorillas is 15 years. There is no maximum age restriction, but a medical check-up is advisable for people over the age of 60.
Where does the group overnight while on tour?
- You will overnight in hotels, safari lodges or permanent tented camps (with en-suite bathrooms). While the safari lodges are solid structures, the tented camps are permanently fixed walk-in safari style tents, offering the same service as hotels and lodges.
What vehicle is used on tour?
- We make use of 4x4 safari vehicles (i.e. Toyota Landcruiser) that have been reconstructed in order to cope with the demanding African conditions. Each guest is guaranteed a window seat and during game drives, the roof can be opened.
What meals are included and what food can be expected on tour?
- Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary. Mineral water is provided on safari however soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are not included and are for your own account.
- Meals are enjoyed at the accommodations. Breakfast is buffet and for lunch and dinner you are usually offered a three course menu. Please inform us of any special dietary requirements you may have.
- Lunch can also be en route at a designated picnic spot in form of a lunch box, which can contain sandwiches, boiled eggs and fruits or grilled chicken thighs for example.
What do I need to bring with me?
- Good, suitable clothing (long trousers and sleeves are recommended for protection against mosquitoes and for the gorilla trekking)
- A detailed list of what to bring will be provided after booking.
- Please remember that there is limited space available in the vehicle and that you should restrict yourself to one large piece of luggage or a rucksack, weighing no more than 15 kg and one small piece of hand luggage. If possible, please do not bring a suitcase with you. Please also take note of the luggage regulations of the different airlines.
How much extra money do I have to take along?
- You will need 520 USD for the gorilla permit
- Tipping the crew after the tour is common. We recommend 15-20 USD per day/group for the guide. In addition you should take some extra cash for drinks, snacks and souvenirs.
- Please note that all USD bills must be printed after 2004 as any earlier dated bills are not valid and won’t be accepted.
Do I need visa for this safari?
- Citizens of all nationalities need to contact the respective embassies of their travel destination to check the visa regulations.
- In general European citizens can apply for a Uganda Visa upon arrival at the respective airport or border post.
- It is the sole responsibility of every traveller to be in possession of the required documents and visa that allows them to enter their holiday destination.
Do I need vaccinations for this safari?
- The safari starts and ends in Uganda, a yellow fever region, which is why we recommend a yellow fever vaccination.
- Uganda is also situated within a malaria area, wherefore we would recommend some precautions. Please speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxis and their effects and side effects.
- Although Uganda does not require proof of immunization against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio and Hepatitis A & B, we nevertheless recommend those vaccinations.