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Pair of gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

Uganda Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife Safari in Lake Mburo & Queen Elizabeth NP, Kyambura Chimps trek- 6 Days

Gorillas and Wildlfe Safaris Hall of Fame Trip Advisor RecommendedOn this Uganda gorillas trek tour, you will be trekking gorillas in Bwindi, be going chimps tracking in Kyambura Gorge and do BIG-5 Wildlife game drives and boat trips in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park searching for lions, leopard, elephant, buffalo, hyenas, giraffe, zebra, hippos among other species. Not only is the Uganda gorilla trekking in Bwindi such a lifetime memorable experience but the accompanying wildlife safari game drives will be very rewarding. The tour can start from Uganda's Entebbe or Kampala but when you request, we can also start from Kigali. It is an all-inclusive gorilla safari with gorilla trek permits, accommodation, transportation, meals and all park fees included. Although you have other tourists joining on the boat trips, gorilla trek and chimps trek, the transfers are mostly private. We can depart on any day with any number.

Overview
Itinerary
Accommodation
Inclusions
Overview

Uganda Gorilla trek, Game Safari in Lake Mburo / Queen Elizabeth National Park, Chimps tracking in Kyambura Gorge - 6 Days

6 day/5 night Uganda gorilla trek, chimps and game safari.

These could probably be your best 6 days of life!

This tour involves a mountain gorilla tracking experience in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (with over 12 other primate species), a visit to Lake Mburo National Park which is a compact national park with plenty of wildlife and Uganda's most biodiverse rich park - Queen Elizabeth National Park with the 'Big 5', over 600 bird species, buffalo, antelopes, crocodile, chimps and more. You also track the troops of wild but habituated chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge with an opportunity of encountering other 13 species of primates on this tour.

All accommodation for the tour is carefully selected to be closer or inside the national parks if not at the best scenic sites available.

  • Day 1: Lake Mburo National Park
  • Day 2: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Day 3: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park & tree-climbing lions
  • Day 5: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kyambura Gorge  & boat safari along Kazinga Channel
  • Day 6:  Game drive in Queen Elizabeth N.P; Depart for Kampala/ Entebbe.
Itinerary

Day 1: Meet at your hotel in Kampala /  Entebbe or Entebbe Airport, drive to Lake Mburo National Park

Your Uganda safari shall be starting when you meet with your safari guide at the airport (if you arrive on Day 1) or at your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala. The safari guide briefs you through the tour, about the gorilla trek and all the other experiences on this Uganda safari.

The meeting time is normally at 8am but we could go earlier if you prefer, or later but not later than 2pm if you arriving the same day or just prefer to delay the start a bit.

We will then be driving through the remote villages of Uganda to Lake Mburo National Park in the south of the country. Safari today is going to be about 4 hours with several interesting stops for you to enjoy and take photos. 

En route, there is a local community popular for making local drums and crafts and a fruit market. Stopover, admire and buy yourself souvenirs. Proceed to the Equator line taken as one beautiful scenery in Africa - the pathway of the sun and take photographs.

Once we arrive Lake Mburo National Park, your Uganda safari guide will attempt a game drive on the tracks of the park. On this game drive there are lots of wildlife to spot - including zebras, topis, buffalo, eland, impala, water hogs, waterbucks, giraffes, etc. The park landscape and savannah scenery are really impressive and photography in this area is great. Your safari guide will afford you as much opportunity for wildlife experiences as possible on this day, so untill you are tired, it won't be over! 

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Mihingo Lodge

Moderate: Rakobo Rock | the ensuite safari tents at Eagles' Nest

Low Budget: tent at Eagles Nest Camp

Day 2: Drive Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

After an early breakfast we depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest via Mbarara town.

The Bwindi area is a highly fertile, mountainous region with steep sided hills covered from top to bottom in neatly terraced rows of cultivation. You are really driving through the “Banana Republic” with banana plantations all around you, steep hills, small rivers……just amazing scenery.

Arrive late afternoon at the park and check-in at the accommodation.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Mahogany Springs Lodge |Buhoma Lodge |  Chameleon Hill Lodge 

Moderate: Engagi Lodge  | Silverback Lodge | Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge | Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge

Low Budget:  Gorilla Conservation Camp |Rushaga Gorilla Camp | Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp | Rushaga Gorilla Camp

Day 3: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After breakfast, proceed for the morning briefing before enjoying the highlight of the trip - gorilla trekking, which may last the entire day.

We trek the gorillas through the rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a guide and trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. When sighted, visitors will be guided to within 6 metres from the gorillas, sit around them for a whole hour while gazing into their big round eyes.

Gorilla trekking is unpredictable. It's difficult to foresee how many hours you will hike. The gorilla excursion can take from 2 up to 8 hours. Expect to walk along distance in steep and muddy conditions, sometimes with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. A good physical condition is recommended. For conservation purposes, time spent with the gorillas is limited to one hour. A ranger will brief you on how to behave with the gorillas.

While most of today's forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi's vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles over at least 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterfly, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammal including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L'Hoest's, red-tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi's most famous resident, the mountain gorilla.

Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Mahogany Springs Lodge |Buhoma Lodge |  Chameleon Hill Lodge 

Moderate: Engagi Lodge  | Silverback Lodge | Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge | Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge

Low Budget:  Gorilla Conservation Camp |Rushaga Gorilla Camp | Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp | Rushaga Gorilla Camp

Day 4: A perfect Uganda Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park & Tree-climbing Lions

After breakfast we drive through stunning savannah grasslands as we head to the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Ishasha a much more remote and less-traveled part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, but one which has a sense of exclusivity and remoteness. The game densities here are high, and this region has reported some of the largest herds of elephant anywhere in Uganda, as it is their main migration corridor between Uganda and the DRC.

As we enter the park, we do a game drive in search of the wild game. We continue and drive to the northern circuit which is the area near the main road known for its tree climbing lions. We look particularly at the many fig trees where lions like to stay. But we also visit the Uganda kob mating ground which is their preferred hunting area.

Up-market/Luxury: Deluxe Tent/Deluxe room at Mweya Safari Lodge | Katara Lodge

Mid-range or moderate facility: Ihamba Safari Lodge | Bush Lodge (rooms) | Buffalo Safari Resort | Enganzi Lodge

Budget price: Bush Lodge (tents) | Simba Safari Camp | Pumba Cottages

Day 5: Kyambura Gorge Chimpanzee Trekking and a Boat safari on The Kazinga Channel

After an early breakfast you head out to the Kyambura Gorge for Chimpanzee trekking. 

Chimpanzee tracking in the gorge is remarkable as some of the Chimps have been habituated, meaning that these chimpanzees are familiar with human beings and can carry on their day to day activities in the presence of people. Kyambura is the only place in the park where you can see habituated chimpanzees and other types of primates including red-tailed monkey, black-and-white colobus, baboons and vervet monkeys. This area is also identified for a variety of avian species like numerous falcons, the blue-headed bee-eater and the African Fin foot.

In the afternoon we will go for a launch trip along the Kazinga Channel. This gives you the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray at a mere feet away from the boat, buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others.

Up-market/Luxury: Deluxe Tent/Deluxe room at Mweya Safari Lodge | Katara Lodge

Mid-range or moderate facility: Ihamba Safari Lodge | Bush Lodge (rooms) | Buffalo Safari Resort | Enganzi Lodge

Budget price: Bush Lodge (tents) | Simba Safari Camp | Pumba Cottages

Day 6: Safari Game drives, Depart for Kampala or Entebbe

We set out early in the morning for a game drive in the northern part of the park on the Kasenyi Track in search of lions, elephants, solitary buffaloes. This is the best time for opportunities of viewing the cats in action owing to the vast population of Uganda kobs. We have an excellent chance to view just about every animal here at very close range.

After the game drive, start your journey back to Kampala with a lunch stop along the way (if you didn't get packed lunch in the morning). You will carry on with the journey to Kampala arrive in the evening and the driver will transfer you to your accommodation in Kampala or Entebbe area in case your flight is timely close.

 

Accommodation
Inclusions
  • Gorilla permits (each at US$600)
  • Chimpanzee viewing permits
  • Meals indicated on programme
  • Experienced driver/guide
  • Accommodation as per programme
  • Park fees for the various parks
  • Transport on tour as well as hotel transfers
  • Entrance fees for tours mentioned in the programme
  • Boat rides as on the program

Talk to a Uganda Holiday Safaris Specialist

Enquire about this safari and tour prices.

Talk to one our Uganda Safaris Specialist to start planning your Uganda safari.

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On Your Uganda Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife Safari in Lake Mburo & Queen Elizabeth NP, Kyambura Chimps trek- 6 Days

On your safari, you have a chance to experience some of the most spectacular yet undiscovered wildlife. Uganda has very beautiful scenery, comfortable weather year-round and above all friendly people that will make your holiday a journey to remember. Besides, Uganda has such a wealth of attractions that a single visit will not be enough to discover all its wonders…!

Uganda as a country is one of the most thought for destination when it comes to African safaris. This is due to its natural endowment with natural beauty, characterized by good natural physical features, amazing African landscapes and scenic views.

Uganda is also known both as a world of birds and world of wildlife.

Uganda lies a stride the equator between Kenya to the east and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. It covers an area of 236,000m2 with 25% of its surface made up of large lakes including lakes Victoria, Albert, Edward and George.

With our safaris you can expect to see Africa’s Big Five and other land animals, gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates, waterfalls, forests, islands, and plenty of bird life.

Uganda offers excellent Africa vacation tours to its national parks and game reserves where you may have the opportunity to see a diversity of wildlife through game drives and walking or chimpanzee trekking safaris.

Unlike Tanzania and Kenya safaris, Uganda includes gorilla safaris to Bwindi national parks where the Virungas extend to Rwanda and Congo. Hiking expeditions offer additional adventure in Rwenzori National Park similar to those of Mount Kenya.

The tourism and hospitality sector provides a variety of safari accommodation options including camping, safari lodges, hotels, resorts and guest houses. These may be luxury or discounted/cheap depending on what you want for your Uganda accommodation.

MAIN NATIONAL PARKS FOR YOUR 5-DAY UGANDA SAFARI FOR GORILLAS TREKKING & WILDLIFE IN LAKE MBURO NATIONAL PARK

Lake Mburo National Park

Lake Mburo National Park lies in a rain shadow between Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains, and receives an average of only 800mm of rain a year.

The park got its name from the two brothers, Kigarama and Mburo lived in a large valley. One night, Kigarama dreamt that they were in danger. When he awoke the next morning, he told his younger brother Mburo of his dream and said they should move. Mburo ignored this advice, but Kigarama wisely moved up into the hills. The valley flooded and a lake was formed, drowning Mburo. Today the lake is named after him, and the hills are called Kigarama after his brother.

The word Mburo is similar to the "mboro", the Runyankole name of the cassine tree which has a powerful aphrodisiac effect. One such tree, showing signs of bark and branch removal, may be seen close to the Kigambira Loop crossroads.

Lake Mburo Safari Tips and Advice:

Here are some excellent Safari Tips, Advice and Information that will help in making your Safari a success.  It does not just take us organizing a Safari for you, the lodge staff, park staff but the Safari Goer.

Most everything is covered from Insect Repellent to the clothing you should wear while on a Safari Uganda.

Lake Mburo Park is a savanna park and though you will be at the equator, the sensible clothing, for example, is long trousers, long-sleeved shirt, and a hat.  Look at what the Park Rangers are wearing, a lot different from what tourists come dressed in.  It is all for your protection.

The Best Lake Mburo National Park Wildlife Safaris in the closest savanna wildlife park to Kampala. 3 1/2 hours from Kampala awaits you a park with a Whisper of the African Wild, Mburo National Park.

Lake Mburo Park is where Wildlife Game Drives, Nocturnal Game Drives, Boat Safaris, Hiking, Biking Safaris all are part of your day, should you choose so.

See Hippos, Crocodiles, 3 Kinds of Otters, Water Birds on the Boat Safaris.

On game drives, see leopards, giraffes, buffaloes, antelopes such the large Eland and the handsome Topi,  Rothschild Giraffes, Warthogs, Bush Pigs to name a few.

The same is true on the many hikes, horseback riding safaria,  bike safaris you can take here.

The Best Lake Mburo National Park Wildlife Safaris in the park that is closest to Kampala and on the way to the parks in the West of Uganda.

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK

The park is located in southwestern Uganda, covering parts of Rukungiri, Kisoro, and Kabale Districts. It is situated in a hilly country-side that, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary constitutes an important water catchment area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a true equatorial jungle, inhabited by four gorilla groups. Amongst the dense vegetation the columbus monkey jumps from branch to branch, chattering its warning to its fellows hidden by the foliage. Chimpanzees, in families of 20 or 30, make the rounds, searching for fruit and edible plants.

It is situated in a hilly country-side that, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary constitutes an important water catchments area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region.

The best time to visit Uganda is late December to late February, and from June to September, as the weather at this time of year is generally dry, and warm. Temperatures average at around 25 degrees Celsius.

THE MOUNTAIN GORILLA TREKKING EXPERIENCE

Mountain gorillas are wild animals and, as such, sightings cannot be guaranteed. However, for the last 14 years, no one has trekked the gorillas and failed to see them in Uganda. Certainly, you won't be the one with bad luck! On the trek, once you find the gorillas, you will be allowed an hour with the gorillas and you can only go not more than 6 meters from them.  As the gorilla tracking can sometimes take a full day, you will need to go with your packed lunch and lots of drinking water when trekking to the gorillas.

Gorilla trekking timings and conditions vary tremendously as the gorillas move continuously through the rain forest. It is good to be prepared and remember the weather can change with very little warning. The terrain is often steep and through areas where there are no marked paths.

TIPS FOR THE BEST GORILLA TREKKING EXPERIENCE IN UGANDA

 Secure Gorilla Trekking permits early

Gorilla Trekking is the most popular foreign tourist activity for Uganda. On every single day, only 128 tourists can trek the gorillas in Bwindi. Uganda has the cheapest gorilla permits prices at USD600 (or USD700 beginning July 2020) for safe gorilla tracking as Rwanda's gorilla permits cost USD1500. This means the competition is quite high for the few gorilla permits in Uganda and it becomes hard to secure gorilla trekking permits a few days to your Uganda gorilla tour (although it is often possible with luck more so in the green season months of October, November, April and May).  It is best to have your gorilla trek permit fully confirmed at least 4 months in advance.

Assess your fitness levels 

There is a likelihood you could walk for 3-6 hours on a gorilla trek. Gorillas are located deep in Bwindi forest with thick undergrowth over several steep volcanic slopes. Gorilla groups keep roaming this forest looking for their favorite food. They are never stationed in the same place over days. Your gorilla trek will follow this same trend and it is quite unpredictable knowing how long or tough your gorilla trekking shall be. The longer trek is not necessarily a problem, just something to be prepared for.  A bit of moderate physical fitness is needed for gorilla trekking in Uganda.

Guides & Porters for the gorilla trek

You will be guided through the forest on your gorilla tracking by a Uganda Wildlife Authority guide whom you will meet at the departure point in the morning of your trek. Your guide can help you book a porter (or two!) so that you can track without having to carry the few essential items listed below in a day pack which you should bring with you. The porters are from the local community and very used to the local conditions and can assist in pushing, pulling and supporting you during your trek to the gorillas. They are usually an additional fee, over and above your safari cost, and you should budget on approximately USD15-20 per porter per day as a fee with additional tipping being optional.

As the porters do not have tracking permits they will be stopped a short distance from the point you will be viewing the mountain Gorillas. Please remember to take whatever you may need from your bag to view the gorillas and rather leave valuables at the lodge/camp.

You will be allowed up to one hour for viewing of the gorillas from when they are sighted by your group. This is to ensure that the wild animals are not overexposed to human presence. Whilst in their presence you will also be required to keep minimum distances from them – generally between 5-7 metres and your guides will ensure this is enforced.

What to pack on gorilla trekking

• Plenty of water – 1-2 litres per person
• High energy snacks in addition to your packed lunch provided by the lodge/camp
• Spare film and batteries for videos and cameras
• Gloves (gardening type are good)
• Waterproof bag to protect photographic equipment
• A hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and band-aids might be useful
• A lightweight waterproof jacket/poncho
• Walking sticks are made available at the start of the trek for some of the steeper and more slippery tracks and may prove to be very handy.

Gorilla Trekking Age Limits

The age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years and the authorities are very strict on this! With special written permission however, a 14yr old might pass.