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Uganda primates habituation experience, lion tracking, gorillas habituation, golden monkeys

Uganda Experiential Safari with gorilla habituation experience, chimps habituation, Lion Tracking,  Ngamba Island, Golden Monkey - 13 Days

Gorillas and Wildlfe Safaris Hall of Fame Trip Advisor RecommendedThe 13- days Uganda Experiential Safari with gorilla habituation experience with (4 hours with) gorillas , chimps habituation experience (full day),  Ngamba Island chimps caregiver experience,  researcher-led tracking lions and rhinos tracking, golden monkeys habituation experience, Murchison Falls wildlife safari experiences and more.

We have made special arrangements with the national park authorities so that you have 2-5 times more the traditional amount of time with the rare and endangered mountain gorillas guided by scientific researchers and contributing to their research, wild chimpanzees and other primates, lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and intimate contact with gorillas, plus safaris for chimpanzees, tree-climbing lions, mongoose and more.

Overview
Itinerary
Accommodation
Inclusions
Overview

Uganda Habituation Experiences for Gorillas, Chimps & Golden Monkeys, Lions & Rhinos Tracking Safari -13 Days

Our new Insider’s Uganda Safari is an incredibly unusual combination of truly “once-in-a-lifetime” safaris that feature scientific researcher-led up-close wildlife interactions for gorillas, chimps, golden monkeys and Africa’s Rare 5.

  • Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe Airport, Optional "behind the scenes" at Uganda Wildlife Education Center (Entebbe Zoo).
  • Day 2: transfer to Ngamba Island for Chimps Intimate experiences with Ngamba Island chimps: participate in the feeding and caring of chimps; for overnight.
  • Day 3: Return to Entebbe, Drive to Ziwa Rhinos Sanctuary 
  • Day 4: Track rhinos, Murchison Falls National Park
  • Day 5: Murchison Falls National Park -  Game drives, boat trip to see more wildlife and the falls
  • Day 6: Kibale National Park
  • Day 7: Chimpanzee habituation experience plus other primates
  • Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park, viewing Rwenzoris, crater lakes & wild animals
  • Day 9: Queen Elizabeth National Park, jeep safari, lion tracking, boat safari
  • Day 10: Tree-climbing lions, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Day 11: Experiential Gorilla Habituation Experience (having 4 hours with the gorillas instead of the standard 1 hour)  in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest 
  • Day 12: Golden monkey habituation exercise in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, rest at Lake Bunyonyi.
  • Day 13: Return to Kampala - Entebbe (or opt to end tour at Kigali Airport Rwanda).

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe Airport, Optional “Behind the Scenes” Tour at Uganda Wildlife Education Center (Entebbe zoo).

Upon arrival at Entebbe airport, you are met by your safari guide. Go through the program for your stay here in detail before being transferred to your hotel in Entebbe. If you will be arriving early in the day, you could choose to visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Center for some intimate time with the wildlife here.

In this specially arranged "behind the scenes"  experience, you will observe the animals’ behaviour and experience first hand how the keepers feed the lions, carry out health checks, or bring them back to their holding facilities. Have the luxury of a privileged few and visit the food preparation areas, the pharmacy, the exhibits and much, much more. This way you can say that you have truly visited the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Protea Mariott Hotel - Entebbe

Moderate:2 Friends Beach Hotel or Lake Heights Entebbe Hotel 

Budget: African Roots Guesthouse Entebbe

Day 2: TRANSFER TO NGAMBA ISLAND CHIMPS SANCTUARY FOR OVERNIGHT EXPERIENCE

After breakfast we will head out to waterfront club jetty located on Lake Victoria to catch a boat to Ngamba Island 23kms from Entebbe town. On our way we will cross the  Equator on Lake Victoria where the captain will make a stop to take pictures and swimming (optional).

At the island you will be welcomed by your guide and check in at an East African style Tented Camp on the island overlooking Lake Victoria with en-suite bathroom facilities and solar lighting. Later you will view the chimpanzees feeding at a very close distance on a raised platform where you will observe the chimpanzee behaviors as they eat, play and rest.

In the afternoon, participate in bird watching, spot necked otter counting and other wildlife. Later participate in the behind the scenes activities; observing chimps as they return, feed and prepare their nests.

As the day ends you can  join in for an exclusive sunset cruise as you enjoy the unique view of fishermen casting their nets, fishing villages as they wind down the day and of course the golden circular site of nature’s eye going to sleep. As you sip away on cold drinks in a romantic bliss.

On return after dinner,  join the camp staff as they work you through the cultures of Uganda through music, dance, storytelling and drama.

Dinner and overnight at Ngamba Island Tented Camp.

Day 3: Challenge Chimp critical thinking; Transfer to Ziwa Rhinos Sanctuary 

Have a breakfast at the Ngamba Restaurant

Take part in the Chimp environmental enrichment program which will involve you to challenge the chimps’ critical thinking abilities as to help them stay health, physically and mentally. 

View a chimp feeding then board your boat for a ride back to the mainland where you will meet your guide for your drive Ziwa Rhinos Sanctuary (3 hours drive).

We check in to Amuka Lodge at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Not only will you enjoy the Lodge itself,  but the food is simply fabulous both in serving tasty dishes and their presentation to you.

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Amuka Lodge

Moderate: Amuka Lodge

Budget: Ziwa Rhino Camp (Guesthouse Rooms)

Day 4:  ZIWA RHINOS SANCTUARY, DRIVE TO MURCHISON FALLS NP

Rhino tracking, Ziwa Sanctuary

After breakfast, you will go to meet the Rhinos, not just from a vehicle but up close – great opportunities of these fabulous animals – there is other wildlife to be found here, so keep your eyes open so you do not miss any and your guide will also point any other animals.

Birders will find this a most fascinating place and best to keep the binoculars handy since an abundance of bird species is found here. 

Return to the lodge for check-out before  your journey to Murchison Falls NP. After 2.5 hours of driving we enter the park stopping by at the top of the falls which is a fantastic sight. Here the Nile, the longest river in the world, is forced through a narrow gap in the rock (only 7 meters wide), before ferociously plunging down 43 meters. 

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Baker's Lodge |  Paraa Safari Lodge

Moderate: Pakuba Safari Lodge | Fort Murchison Lodge

Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (tents) | Murchison River Lodge (tents) | Red Chilli Rest Camp

Day 5: Murchison Falls National Park | Game Drive | Boat Trip

After breakfast head to the delta in search for bird life and enjoy the game drive to look for lions, giraffes, herds of elephants, buffaloes and many more. We will drive back to the lodge for lunch before taking an afternoon boat cruise to the foot of Murchison Falls.

This boat trip along the Nile is often cited as being the highlight of a trip to Murchison since it allows you to get up-close and personal with the animals. Along this stretch of the river, there are reported to be around 4,000 hippos in addition to some enormous Nile crocodiles. The bird life is stunning with brightly coloured kingfishers and bee-eaters darting along the riverbanks. If lucky, you may see the rare and prehistoric looking shoebill, which is a cross between the dodo and a dinosaur. The boat takes you to the base of the falls which only adds to their impressiveness.

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Baker's Lodge |  Paraa Safari Lodge

Moderate: Pakuba Safari Lodge | Fort Murchison Lodge

Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (tents) | Murchison River Lodge (tents) | Red Chilli Rest Camp

Day 6: Kibale National Park & Fort Portal

Leave Murchison Falls National Park for Kibale Forest National Park via the Lake Albert escarpment, having a good view of the lake. Stopover at Kolping Hotel in Hoima for lunch and after drive across the interesting river Nkusi (flowing from the southern end of Lake Albert, through the villages of Kagadi, joining Victoria Nile). Both rivers join Lake Kyoga and flow through the Murchison Falls continue to Lake Albert and north to the Mediterranean sea.

Traveling on both asphalt and unpaved roads, you pass through traditional Ugandan villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and maize. The lush rolling hills of this region provide good photo opportunities.

As you approach Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda's famous tea plantation region. A carpet of green spreads before you, as far as the eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed.

You arrive at Fort Portal, then, continue toward Kibale Forest, one of the great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. This forest is famed for the variety of primates found here and it is a terrific area for birds. This rural Ugandan town is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and we can spend some time briefly to examine some of this local art.

Fort Portal is a small and attractive city. The fort was built between 1891 and 1893 and named after Sir Gerald Portal, the British Consul General of Zanzibar who arrived in Uganda in 1892 to formalise the protectorate of Uganda. He died of malaria a few months after the fort was completed.

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Crater Safari Lodge| Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Isunga Lodge| Kibale Forest Camp

Budget: Kibale Forest Camp | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 7: Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Plus Other Primates

Chimp habituation experience, Kibale ForestToday we’ll accompany Kibale’s researchers in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to a “soft” habituation project with chimpanzees. You’ll learn to safely observe the chimps during their daily activities, so they get comfortable with human presence without changing their natural behaviours. You will be able to experience the chimp families as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate, and breastfeed.

Guided by biologists and researchers, we will enjoy unprecedented intimate access to these wild chimps for the entire day until they build their nests at bedtime.

Overnight Lodges/ Camps:

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Crater Safari Lodge| Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Isunga Lodge| Kibale Forest Camp

Budget: Kibale Forest Camp | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Viewing Rwenzoris, Crater Lakes & Wild Animals

We then drive to Queen Elizabeth. The game seen will depend on the season; the Kasenyi plains are good for lion and the Mweya peninsula for a variety of animals.

Shift to Queen Elizabeth National Park this morning (about 3 hours driving). Leaving through Fort Portal town, you turn south and early this afternoon enter Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is dominated on its northern border by the snow-capped 16,000 foot Rwenzori Mountains - the famed "Mountains of the Moon".

This 767 square-mile conservation area is bordered on the north-east by Lake George and on the south-west by Lake Edward; its western border adjoins the Congo Parc du Virunga. You will expect to see teeming herds of impala-like Uganda kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally.

Overnight Lodges/ Camps:

Up-market: Mweya  Lodge | Katara Lodge

Moderate: Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge| Bush Lodge | Enganzi Lodge

Budget: Bush Lodge | Simba Safari Camp

Day 9: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Jeep Safari, Lion Tracking, Boat Safari

See a different face of the park as we venture off road with a research team to track lions and contribute to a valuable lion research project in the Ishasha Sector. The researchers' Land-cruiser is fitted with radio-collar-receiving equipment. You get a full briefing on the animals with opportunity for as much lion photography as you can manage.

After a leisurely lunch on the Mweya Peninsula we’ll enjoy a two hour boat safari along the Kazinga Channel. This affords the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray and 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.

Overnight Lodges/ Camps:

Up-market: Mweya  Lodge | Katara Lodge

Moderate: Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge| Bush Lodge | Enganzi Lodge

Budget: Bush Lodge | Simba Safari Camp

Day 10: Tree-climbing Lions, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Tree climbing lion, UgandaAfter breakfast we drive further south through stunning savannah grasslands as we head to the southern sector of the park – Ishasha. This is the best area to see the famous tree-climbing lions draped from low hanging limbs of fig trees. Next we visit the Kob Mating Ground—a defined area specifically used by these stunning antelopes for challenging other males, enticing females and mating. Finally we’ll pass through beautiful savannah grasslands as we head towards the breathtaking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

While most of today's forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi's vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles for over 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterflies, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 species of mammals 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 bird- watchers. 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 (on full board basis)

Up-market: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge | Chameleon Hill Lodge | Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge (or request upgrade to Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge if available)

Moderate: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge 

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Camp 

Day 11: Mountain Gorilla habituation Experience (spending 4 hours with the gorillas)

touched by gorilla habituation experienceTo many of our guests on a safari like this one,  the gorilla habituation experience is the highlight of the vacation.  Your tour guide shall ensure you have everything in place for the day. As you certainly want to have all your time with the gorillas, it is advisable you plan to set off earlier from your accommodation.

Your driver shall transfer you to the Bwindi park headquarters for the gorilla habituation experience accrediting and briefing. Normally, by 6:30 Am you should have reported at the park office. The trek to the gorillas goes through thick tropical forest jungles that should definitely leave a lasting memory. Depending on the location of the gorillas, we could be going for 1 hour to 4 hours before sighting them.

The gorilla habituation experience is meant for visitors to have a quite exclusive experience for more than the usual time with the gorillas in the wild. The gorilla group we visit has now been receiving tourists for 5 years and will be carrying on with their usual daily routine as you view them. The maximum number of tourists who can visit this gorilla group is 4 per day, accompanied by the trekkers' team and porters. 

During your time with the gorillas,  you will be able to experience the gorilla family as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate and breastfeed until they build their nests at bedtime.

The thrill of spending time with and observing these gentle giants is a rare and moving ad- venture that will leave you with long lasting memories. Spending more time with them than the norm means you are assured of the best possible experience, with 4 full hours for better photography, researcher access for more questions, and enough time to experience more intimate and unusual behaviors. The gorillas are shy and peaceful animals and it is an unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact with each other.

Accommodation (on full board basis)

Up-market: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge | Chameleon Hill Lodge | Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge (or request upgrade to Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge if available)

Moderate: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge 

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Camp 

Day 12: Golden Monkey Habituation Exercise in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, unwind at Lake Bunyonyi

After an early breakfast, set off for the national park for the Golden Monkey habituation experience which allows you up to 4 hours with the monkeys.


The monkeys are primarily to be found in the bamboo forest that skirt the lower slopes of the volcanoes. The monkeys are very active in the canopy of the bamboo where your guides mimic their calls to follow the group.

 At the end of the trek, you are transferred to a lodge on the shore of Lake Bunyonyi to relax and unwind at the hectic safari activity.

Accommodation (on full board basis)

Up-market:  Birdnest Lake Bunyonyi Resort | Archadia Cottages Lake Bunyonyi

Moderate: Bird Nest Lake Bunyonyi Resort | Archadia Cottages Lake Bunyonyi

Low Budget: Travelers Rest Hotel Kisoro

Day 13: Return to Kampala - Entebbe (optional flights available to Entebbe) or to Kigali Airport Rwanda

Early breakfast before embarking on our return to Entebbe, driving down the 10 grassed and terraced escarpments of southwestern Uganda while taking in the breathtaking sights of the hills of the region dubbed ‘the little Switzerland of Africa’. This area is a rows. Not to miss as we traverse Mbarara are the impressing longhorn Ankole cattle.

A remarkable highlight of this journey is the Equator line and surely you will cross it as we have a brief stop here. We will be in Entebbe in the evening (about 5:30pm)  before for your flight back home.

 

Accommodation

 

Baker’s Lodge (Murchison Falls NP)

Baker's Lodge sits on the south bank of the river, benefiting from one of the best locations for wildlife viewing, as many animals come here to drink from the waters.

Baker's Lodge is comprised of eight traditional, thatched cottages, and a central lounge area. Each is raised off the ground, and offers uninterrupted views of the Nile, with regular opportunities to spot elephant, hippo and a wide variety of birdlife. All eight cottages have their own private decks, and are well spaced apart to offer guests privacy and seclusion. Cottages are spacious and traditionally decorated with wooden furnishings and locally crafted items on display. An eco-friendly lodge with modern comforts, solar lighting runs throughout, and en-suite facilities provide solar hot water showers, and in some cases, bathtubs.

Baker's Lodge has just eight raised cottages, each with uninterrupted river views and a private deck. All have en-suite bathrooms, some of which have bathtubs. Rooms are traditionally decorated in a rustic style, with thatched roofs, and are spread out to ensure privacy and excellent views.

Meals are taken in the central lodge dining area, which also offers a comfortable lounge and bar. It is also possible to arrange a bush breakfast or private riverside dining for an extra special experience.

Murchison River Lodge

Murchison River Lodge is scenically located on the southern bank of the River Nile overlooking Murchison Falls National Park, pods of hippos and papyrus islands.

The Family owned Murchison River Lodge offers comfortable mid-range accommodation for families, couples, groups and individuals. It boasts of an intimate lodge restaurant, bar and terrace bar with an extensive wine list and carefully crafted food menu. A complimentary tea and fresh coffee is available from 4pm. Beneath a large thatched roof is the where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the River Nile and Murchison Falls National Park. From this vantage point visitors are able to view African elephants, hippos and water buck wading through the water to graze on the islands. Power shortage is never in the lodges vocabulary, because everything on site runs off solar, including the fridges and freezers.

Our visitors are assured of Re-energizing, de-stressing and relaxing at the Murchison River lodge fabulous pool. The pool is well set amongst trees with a view of the River Nile. The baby pool is adjacent to the main pool with the right depth for babies and toddlersin order to keep them active and entertained. The thatched pool lounge is open from dawn until dusk and contains a shower/changing room, toilet, hand washing facility and pool towels. Do not worry about keeping in touch with your friends and family! Free Wi-fi is available.

The lodge has cottages, camping sites and en-suite thatched safari tents. The 4 thatched spacious cottages have attractive furnishing making each one unique whereas, the furnished en-suite thatched safari tents are on level ground amongst the bush, with three positioned close to the river bank. All tents are twin shared, although four of them can include a third bed and a baby cot if required (handy when travelling with young children) and have an outside area complete with safari chairs and table.

The 5 comfortable camping tents are on level ground around the large campsite area at the back of the property, away from the river. The furnished covered tents are located in the bush and guests have use of the spacious and clean shower and toilet block positioned next to the campsites main entrance.

Upon departure, we encourage our visitors to purchase African crafts in the Lions Den Craft Shop is located in the car park. The local crafts are made and purchased from within Uganda.

Kibale Forest Camp is suited off Fort port-Kamwenge, subsequent to the park’s edge.

The camp is well designed with about 7 safari tents; containing double beds with en-suite bathroom along with an eco friendly toilet. The verandah will give you a perfect view of the colobus monkeys in the forest.

Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge

Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge is situated on the shores of Lake George in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Muhokya sub-county, near Kahendero Fishing Village.

The lodge has about 10 special suites constructed with stones, thatched and are located in a secreted setting with enough space to do personal work.

The design of the suits leads you to the main lodge and after connect you to the bush. Which ever corner of the lodge you are in, you have a magnificent view of the forest, the windows lodge are glass thus give you a perfect view of nature.

Among the services provided include telephone, internet with a fully well stocked bar. The rooms are air conditioned with up to date bathrooms and toilets.

Meals are served in a spacious dinning overlooking the magnificent Lake George in order to deliver a relaxing and comfortable feel of the Lake breeze as the sun sets calmly over the horizon.
Breakfast comprises of a full English breakfast containing freshly made juice, Eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, grilled tomato & toast accompanied by CAFE PAP Coffee or Tea. Breakfast is served from 6:30am to 10: 00 am.

A light lunch is offered to all guests, that is, a variety of pasta, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Guests who need packed lunch for the game drive are given exclusive light pack accompanied by picnic juice.

After returning from a long day's activities, a sumptuous dinner comprising of an appetizer, a starter, main course and a desert awaits every guest; all inclusive is cup of Cafe PAP Coffee or Tea. 

After dinner, all guests are escorted to their cottages by the lodge guide.

The lodge has a professional wine cellar manager who is good at selecting good wine for the visitors. Besides wine, there are other drinks that you will like.

Engagi Lodge

Engagi Lodge is a small and exclusive property on the edge of the Impenetrable Forest, close to the park headquarters. The lodge is open-ended at the front allowing a dramatic view of the Bwindi National Park from every corner inside the building.

The accommodation consists of eight en-suite Cottages which are evenly spaced out and hidden in the foliage. Each Cottage has either double or twin beds, a bathroom with flushing toilets and hot and cold running water. All units have private verandahs where guests can enjoy their early morning tea or coffee.

The kitchen, which has been built a distance away from the lodge to ensure privacy for the clients, prepares a variety of three course meals and all requirements such as vegetarians and vegans are catered for by our team of experienced Kampala trained chefs. The main lodge comprises a rock bar, the restaurant and a large wooden verandah with a separate outdoor viewing platform. The lodge building is large enough to cater for sizeable groups needing banqueting tables, but still allows smaller individual groups to spread out in the various different areas for privacy.

Kyaninga Lodge (Upscale Option)

The Lodge and Cottages

The exceptional design and sheer scale of the main lodge is immediately apparent from the moment one crests the hill and Kyaninga Lodge comes into view. Once inside, the lodge offers comfortable seating areas set around an imposing double-sided open fireplace where one can enjoy a cozy evening over a good book, a board game or a drink from the bar. The main building also houses the restaurant, where delicious meals compete with stunning views on both sides. Two raised galleries offer intimate spaces for those wishing to absorb the panorama in a more private setting. On the lake side, the main lodge leads to two decks furnished with comfortable loungers, while steps hewn from local volcanic rock lead down to the swimming pool and on to two lawned terraces overlooking the deep blue water and primeval forest of Lake Kyaninga itself. For those not quite wishing to really get away from it all, wireless Internet access is provided throughout the main lodge building.

Kyaninga Lodge’s eight cottages are built on platforms and set apart to offer privacy and tranquility. Access to the cottages from the main lodge is via a raised wooden walkway. Each spacious cottage is beautifully appointed with a choice of twin or double beds made up with the softest bed linens and feather pillows. An indoor sitting area leads out to a private deck where one can enjoy morning tea or coffee and views over the lake and the Mountains of the Moon beyond. The en suite bathrooms boast marble countertop basins set atop beautifully crafted Elgon Olive pedestals, claw foot- ed freestanding baths, glass walled showers and plenty of hot water from solar water heaters. Lighting in the cottages is also solar powered, and each cottage features an electrical socket for the charging of laptops and other appliances, providing the comforts of home in an extraordinary setting. Extra beds, hypoallergenic pillows and bedding are available on request.

Primate Lodge (Mid-Level Option)

Primate Lodge tent, Uganda

Primate Lodge in Kibale is an exclusive eco-lodge situated in the heart of Kibale Forest National Park. It is surrounded by a lush tropical forest that is home to 13 different species of primates, including the chimpanzees.

Privately secluded in the rainforest, this safari lodge offers you a truly authentic jungle experience and is the perfect gateway for tracking the primates in Uganda.

Discover a place where the serene silence is only interrupted by the melodious sounds of the numerous forest birds. A place that combines comfort with adventure and perfectly blends with the natural environment...

Primate Lodge Kibale features an exclusive camp with eight superior safari tents, seven comfortable forest cottages and an adventurous Tree House. All rooms are privately situated within the forest, making it an ideal place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Free WIFI is available in the public areas.

Mweya Lodge (Upscale Deluxe Rooms, Mid-Level Standard Rooms)

Queen's Cottage room, Mweya Safari Lodge

Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors an unforgettable experience. Located on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya Safari Lodge is surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains aptly described as the 'Mountains of the Moon'.

To the east, lie the guardians of the birthplace of mankind, the Great Rift Valley hills, separated from the Mountains of the Moon by the meandering Kazinga Channel. Here the water flows endlessly into two giant lakes – Lake George and Lake Edward.

Each room at Mweya Safari Lodge has a breathtaking view of the Kazinga channel. You can watch the forest hogs grazing the grass outside, as well as the odd curious hippo! The cuisine is of the highest quality, presenting a range of exquisite Continental, Indian and International cuisine.

The Mweya Health Club and spa offers treatments to revitalize you after a long day out in the game park.


Buhoma Lodge

Buhoma Lodge is situated in Uganda in the idyllic Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, well known for being home to the rare and elusive mountain gorilla. From the private veranda of each cottage guests can enjoy views overlooking the forest whilst relaxing and taking in the stunning natural surrounds. Buhoma is an ideal accommodation for guests interested in gorilla trekking, being closely located to the meeting point for the treks.

There are ten comfortable cottages at Buhoma Lodge, each complete with a private veranda offering superb views of the forest. Cottages are traditionally decorated with wooden furnishings, but each is comfortable and spacious. Each cottage has en-suite facilities, and some provide bathtubs.

Meals are taken in the main, elevated lounge area, and are prepared using local ingredients to create an international cuisine. Located in the lounge, the bar is the perfect place to relax after the day's activities, or enjoy a drink around the fireplace.

Chameleon Hill Lodge

Chameleon Hill Lodge, Uganda

Chameleon Hill Lodge no other lodge like it in all of Africa – a unique – one of a kind luxury lodge sitting on Chameleon Hill.

We live in a sea of sameness, of similarities, where even lodges follow certain styles and patterns and then there is the one of a kind Chameleon Hill Lodge, unlike any other lodge in Uganda.

Just driving up the ridge and seeing the Lodge for the first time with of its varied hues of colours that seem to twinkle in the sun like Joseph’s multi-coloured coat is an experience in itself.

Chameleon Hill Lodge is the creation of someone who walks to their own drumbeat, someone who is uniquely themselves and brought to fruition an inner dream of a castle on a hill overlooking Lake Mutanda and like the bright array of colours you will find in the chameleons of this area so Chameleon Hill with its array of brilliant colours lives up to is name “Chameleon Hill Lodge.”

Step through the castle doors into the main lodge and you are entering a world of utmost comfort – a dining area where you can enjoy a superb breakfast, great lunch and a most memorable three course dinner – if you have special dietary needs of one kind or another the capable chef can accommodate you to your satisfaction.

There is most comfortable sitting area here and in the evening a crackling fire will warm you – it does get a bit cold in this part of Uganda but you will be delighted by the fine selection of wines the lodge has to offer – simply all around class and style.

Enjoy the sunset from here – take in the majestic – almost mystical Lake Mutanda below you and the majestic Mufumbiro Mountains – Mountains that cook – the Virunga Volcanoes. It all is an amazing array of sights, colours – one of Uganda’s most amazing, comfortable and luxurious locations along Lake Mutanda.

Your room is an individual cottage and of course it is en suite with bath and the water is heated with propane which means a superb hot shower, something that on safari at times can be lacking.

The room of your cottage is colorful in and out, very functional and practical with quality furniture throughout as in the main lodge. There is also excellent bedding with another out of the normal things and needed in this colder part of Uganda...a duvet on your bed and if that is not enough, extra blankets are there for your comfort. There is also a safe for each cottage to keep your things safe and secure during your stay here. It seems almost everything seems to be thought of.

Activities – there are many – some such as canoeing in a dugout canoe on Lake Mutanda, hikes through villages and forest, birding and of course activities that we have you scheduled for such as volcano climbing, golden monkey tracking, an interactive walk with the first people of the forest, the Batwa people all in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, There are also the activities in the southern end of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things to do and see while staying at Chameleon Hill Lodge - no other lodge like it and the added plus is the view.

Inclusions

Included

  • Ngamba Island Chimps Sanctuary overnight experience with chimps caregiver-a-day experience
  • Our exclusive 4 hours gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale National Park
  • Lion tracking experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Golden monkey habituation experience in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
  • Rhinos tracking in Ziwa Sanctuary
  • Game drives and boat trips in Murchison Falls National Park
  • Kazinga Channel boat safari
  • Other game viewing permits
  • Land cruiser game drives
  • Accommodation with meals indicated on programme
  • Bottled drinking water on the vehicle
  • Services of a good experienced English speaking tour guide/driver
  • Transport on tour as well as hotel transfers

Excluded

  • Tips for drivers and other staff
  • Flight tickets and departure taxes
  • Travel documentation (visas)
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Optional excursion
  • Beverages other than mineral water in the vehicle

Talk to a Uganda Safari Expert

Enquire about this special wildlife experience and habituation safari and tour prices.

Talk to one of our destination experts to start planning your Uganda safari.

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MAIN NATIONAL PARKS FOR YOUR UGANDA PRIMATES' TOUR - GORILLA HABITUATION EXPERIENCE AND CHIMP HABITUATION EXPERIENCE TOURS, LION TRACKING AND GOLDEN MONKEYS HABITUATION

Kibale National Park for Chimps Habituation Experience

Once this tropical rainforest provided a (very substantial) dinner, bed and breakfast for large herds of migrating forest elephants and, even now, the park contains the largest population of this subspecies in Uganda. Although they're rarely seen, and dangerous, the signs of these elephants' presence are abundant.

However, Kibale's claim to fame is its enormous variety of primates and its families of habituated chimpanzees - it's home to an astonishing 12 species of primate and provides one of the highest primate densities in the world. Here, on a daytime or evening guided forest walk, you may find families of chimpanzees and red colobus monkeys chattering and swinging through the ancient forest trees.

The sightings of birds in the forest are no less impressive - there are at least 325 species, many of which are found nowhere else. In addition, there are over 144 species of butterflies.

Kibale National Park uganda primates tours uganda safari gorilla tour Chimps habiuation exoerience tours Uganda Kibale

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (for your Gorilla Habituation Experience)

The park is located in south western 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 catchments 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 HABITUATION 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 HABITUATION EXPERIENCE IN UGANDA

 Secure Gorilla Habituation Experience permits early

Gorilla Habituation Experience is the most popular foreign tourist activity for Uganda. On every single day, only 5 tourists can do the gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi. Uganda's gorilla habituation experience is USD1500 per person and allows you 4 hours with the mountain gorillas.  This means the competition is quite high for the few gorilla habituation experience permits in Uganda and it becomes hard to secure gorilla habituation experience permits a few days to your Uganda gorilla habituation 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 habituation experience 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 habituation 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 habituation experience tour

• 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 Habituation Experience  Age Limits

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

Videos & Photography for Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda

In Uganda, it can be difficult to capture good photos under the dark canopy of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, as the name suggests! If you are very lucky, you may encounter your gorilla family in a clearing.

Here are a few tips for photographing the gorillas in Uganda:

  • If you’re taking photos using a standard point-and-shoot camera, then make sure your camera is fully charged.
  • Always take extra memory cards.
  • Remember that flash photography is not allowed when you are with the gorillas. Make sure you have your camera manual with you so you know how to disable the automatic flash and automatic focus light functions.
  • We recommend a good SLR camera. The best lenses are those with a wide aperture such as f2,8 which allow in max light and are best in gloomy conditions.  A 24 – 70 mm and a 70 – 200 m is a good combination. If you have space then consider a 300mm and a wide angle but it’s a steep walk so consider hiring a porter. A 50 mm 1.4 lens is also ideal for low light shooting and something to consider as a standard lens.
  • Professional filmmakers require permission and need to purchase filming permits in advance from UWA (Uganda) or RDB (Rwanda).
  • Keep your camera and/or phone in a waterproof bag (such as a large Ziploc bag). Cue: you’re in the rainforest.

Professional photographers, film makers or media should advise us at the time of booking as special procedures are required as well as costs to be incurred for photographing and filming.

Bikingi Gorilla Family member - for Gorilla Habituation Experience Bwindi

     Mountain gorillas in Bwindi

Gorilla habituation experience Bwindi

Gorilla habituation experience Bwindi

Gorilla habituation experience

Golden monkey Tracking in Mgahinga

Golden monkeys trekking golden monkeys Mgahinga. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park tourist activities, TOP 10 TOURIST ACTIVITIES in Mgahinga GORILLA, to do Mgahinga gorilla trek Batwa golden monkeys, hiking

The Golden Monkey may not be the most well known primate, but is certainly an enjoyable, little creature that is worth visiting. It is a small curious monkey, golden in colour and loves to scamper around the trees. Golden monkeys are named after their golden-orange fur, and like mountain gorillas, are also considered endangered species. Conservation efforts have been put in place by the Uganda Wildlife Authority to ensure that the monkeys are protected – especially from poachers.

There is a habituated family of monkeys in Mgahinga, where tourists can track and stay with them for a period of four hours depending on where they nested the previous night and how far it is from the starting point.

It is estimated that Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has between 3000-4000 golden monkeys grouped in troupes of 30s led by a principal adult male. Golden monkeys are primarily to be found in the bamboo forest that skirt the lower slopes of the volcanoes. They are quite more active in the bamboo canopy.  Golden monkeys are opportunistic feeders. What they feed on could be by the availability of fruits, leaves of bamboo trees, shoots of bamboo, shrubs, flowers, invertebrates and these makes it to be restricted to the highland forest, mostly the bamboo forest.

Golden monkey tracking starts at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park headquarters at 7:30am for pre-tracking briefing (on the dos and don’ts of tracking the golden monkeys). The actual trek begins at 8:00am. Hiking through the forests to sight the golden monkeys is not so strenuous like gorilla trekking because golden monkeys live in lower areas, so tourists do not track for more than 3 hours. When tourists encounter the golden monkey family, they are given one hour  (0r 4 hours in case your are doing the habituation experience) to spend with them (to take photographs and observe their behavior). With this activity, there is no minimum number of tourists who track each group and age limit is 12 years.

Golden Monkey Habituation Experience in Mgahinga

Uganda Wildlife Authority now offers you the golden opportunity to experience a Golden Monkey Habituation in Mgahinga National Park. Accompany the researches in the morning or afternoon to track the Golden Monkeys and stay with them for 4 hours. You will have the unique chance to get close to these little primates and study their behavior in their natural habitat. A unique experience that will enhance your primate safari in Uganda!

What to carry during Mgahinga golden monkey tracking.

There are several requirements that tourists need to have a memorable experience during golden monkey tracking. These include waterproof hiking boots, wear long sleeved shirt, long trousers, and carry a backpack for your lunch and documents. Also carry drinking water and snacks, carry a walking stick to support you during hiking, you can hire a porter to support you during hiking in slippery places and they carry your backpack, and do not forget to carry an

It is hard to get to – You either fly-in, which is very expensive or you drive to the park.  The drive (12-Hours) takes a lot of time due to the distance from Kampala. The more scenic route from Sipi Falls to Kidepo Parks breaks up the journey and you are driving through Karamoja which is quite interesting.

The lodging facilities are few, however, more are coming on-line as the popularity of the Park is on the increase plus the Apoka Rest Camp has been greatly improved to the delight of budget travelers.

Presently there 2000-3000 visitors per year, less per ten per day, in spite of being the best park for wildlife viewing in Uganda plus unique and enriching cultural experiences with the Karamojong and the Ik People who live near the park.

Kidepo Valley Park where the stunning scenery simply takes your breath away.  It is just you and a stillness only broken by the cry from the wild.  The sounds of the winds sweeping through the valley – you are amazed that such a place as Kidepo Valley Park even exists – an abundance of wildlife – rough-hewn scenery and an absence of people, no caravans of vehicles meandering down the game tracks- it is simply a scene from Karen Blixen or Ernest Hemingway’s Africa – it is Africa as you imagined it  but rarely find in the 21st Century.

There are Lions in abundance-especially during the dry season of the year (even some tree climbing ones) – Elephant and Buffalo herds roaming – Giraffe – leopards – cheetahs – wild dogs – ostriches-pangolins –the bat-eared fox, striped hyena, aardwolf, caracal, and hunting dog – antelopes such as eland, bushbuck, bush duskier, defassa waterbuck, bohor reedbuck, Jackson’s hartebeest, and oribi.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Uganda Lion Tracking Research Tracking in Queen Elizabeth National Park Uganda

The Queen Elizabeth National Park provides an unforgettable and unique experience for your Uganda safari in search of beautiful scenery and the BIG-5 - lions, leopard, bufallo, hippos, elephant and hyenas.

Queen Elizabeth National Park is 1,978 Km2 in area and is situated astride the Equator in the Western Rift Valley of South West Uganda, close to the southern-most tip of the tabled, mist-covered "Mountains of the Moon - Rwenzori Mountains and is contiguous with Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo.

It is a region of varied habitats including, open grassland with thickets, thick bush, forest, swamps and lake-shore. Queen Elizabeth National Park together with Virunga National Park in (DRC) completely encircles Lake Edward which is connected to Lake George by the Kazinga Channel.

Lion Tracking Research of Queen Elizabeth Park with Researchers

Lion Tracking Research at Queen Elizabeth – another way to see the Lions in Queen Elizabeth Park, often closer than on a regular Game Drive. Besides seeing Lions and Leopards, the Lion Research Experience is also a learning Time for most.  A time where you get to know the ways and habits of the King of the Beasts in their natural Habitat on the Kasenyi Plains in Queen Elizabeth Park.

The Uganda Carnivore Project does research on Lions and other predators in the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth and you can join them on one of their research outings.

This is limited in the number of participants that can take part and a rare opportunity for those that can. It has to be booked in advance if you are on a safari with us and we will include it in your Safari Itinerary.

One of the aims of the Uganda Carnivore Project is to educate the surrounding communities how to live in harmony and yet in close proximity to Lions and Leopards.

Our Take on Lion Tracking Research in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Lion Tracking Research is done by 90% of our Clients who visit Queen Elizabeth Park and they are glad that they did so.

Lio Tracking Research is one of those out-of-the-Ordinary and Authentic Experiences in Uganda.

It is much more than a Game Drive, it is a time with researchers going about their daily business of tracking the collared Carnivores on the Kasenyi plains in Queen Elizabeth Park.

This is an experience that is unique to Queen Elizabeth Park and is not offered in other parks in Uganda.

Lion tracking is not like any other game viewing activity; it’s a research. So for the research to go on right or for research purposes like collecting accurate information, a limited number of participants are permitted to engage in the lion tracking in Queen Elizabeth national park.

Another reason is to avoid stressing the animals; lions in Queen Elizabeth national park are not familiar to humans, so, a lot of people can actually stress them. This is truly dangerous for the sustainability of the eco system.

Also a limited number helps to heighten your experience during the lion tracking activity. If you are few for the activity, you can all get a chance to capture clear pictures. Every participant can get a chance to see the lion before it gets scared away by a lot of noise from the many excited tourists, if at all they could be allowed.

Finally but not least, a limited number of participants is allowed for the lion tracking activity in queen Elizabeth; to allow a well understanding of the lion habits and behaviors as explained by the researcher.

Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is one of the most spectacular in Uganda, and indeed in the whole of Africa. This is the largest game park in the country (3,840 sq.km.) and has the most intense concentration of animals along the river. The park is really spectacular that it is hard not to include it in an all-inclusive Uganda wildlife safari. On the way there, we track the white rhinos in Ziwa sanctuary. While on safaris in the park, we might encounter giraffes, lions, elephant, hippos, crocodile, buffalo and many other wildlife species for a Uganda safari.

Here is the awe-inspiring Murchison Falls, where the River Nile hurls itself in appalling convulsions through a narrow crevice and then plunges 40 metres in one breathtaking leap. Before the Murchison Falls themselves, in the eastern sector of the park, are the Karuma Falls where the Nile cascades over 23 kilometres of rapids in a breathtaking sight. This is some of the most exciting white water in Africa.

A launch trip upstream to the falls is one of the great experiences in Africa. Elephant, hartebeest, giraffe, buffalo, crocodiles and countless antelope and birds (including the rare shoebill stork) can be admired at the water's edge as the launch glides along the Murchison Falls National Park, with its variety of vegetation ranging from riparian forests and swamplands to broad savannah, provides the opportunity of seeing many of the animals found  in Uganda.