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Uganda gorilla primate wildlife safari 8 days Gorillas and Wildlife Safari

Uganda Gorilla Primate Wildlife Safari - 8 Days

Gorillas and Wildlfe Safaris Hall of Fame Trip Advisor RecommendedThis is certainly the most precise of our Uganda tours and with it, you can certainly cover most of Uganda's interesting parks. This 8-day Uganda gorilla primate wildlife safari includes gorilla trek in Bwindi, chimpanzee tracking in Kibale and tropical savannah wildlife game safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Golden monkeys tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

This Uganda tour can start on any day so long as we have available gorillas and chimps tracking permits to correspond with your dates. The safari minimum number of participants is one and the maximum is 8 persons. The tour is easily customizable to your needs. The lodges can be mixed up and you can also request for your preferred accommodation. Other activities too can be included in this Uganda safari.  If you prefer not driving for longer distances, we can include domestic flights to cover the long drives instead.

Overview
Itinerary
Accommodation
Inclusions
Overview

This is certainly the most precise of our Uganda tours and with it, you can certainly cover most of Uganda's interesting parks. This 8-day Uganda gorilla primate wildlife safari includes gorilla trek in Bwindi, chimpanzee tracking in Kibale and tropical savannah wildlife game safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Golden monkeys tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The tour is private and can start on any day from Entebbe or Kigali.

Uganda Gorilla Primate Wildlife Safari - 8 Days

You see lots of primates, monkeys, chimps, mountain gorillas, lots of birds, hippos, buffalo, crocodiles, and many more wild animals and birds.

  • Day 1: Drive or fly from Entebbe/ Kampala ro Kibale National Park, afternoon primate walk in Bigodi
  • Day 2:  Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park
  • Day 3: Safari, Wildlife Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Day 4: BIG-5 Wildlife Game drive safari, Kazinga boat wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Day 5: Game drives for Tree climbing lions in Ishasha Sector, Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Day 6:  Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Day 7: Golden monkeys tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation and overnight.
  • Day 8: Drive back to Entebbe or Kigali Airport to finish safari.
Itinerary

Day 1: Start from Kampala/ Entebbe to Fort Portal - Kibale National Park,  Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary

Briefing on the safari before we drive westwards towards Fort Portal to the Kibale Forest National Park (about 5 hours).

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 (Fort Portal) 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.

In the afternoon we visit a nearby forest swamp that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. At the eastern edge of Kibale forest is Bigodi Wetland sanctuary which is maintained by the local community. You will expect birds like the great blue turaco, blue monkeys, baboons, otters, mongoose, bushbucks, bush pigs and among others.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

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

Moderate: Isunga Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp

Low Budget: Tents at Kibale Forest Camp | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 2: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park 

Assemble at Kanyankyu River camp at 08:00 hours to go for the most popular activity in this park which is chimpanzee tracking.

Chimpanzees are man’s closest cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate species. More primates like black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, bush babies, pottos and many bird species like the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee-eater and mammals like elephants can be seen in this walk.

Kibale National park, which averages about 3,300 feet in elevation, is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. It is inhabited by three large communities of chimps, each numbering more than 100 individuals. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against incursions by male outsiders; the females usually wander in small family groups.

Typically, we locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, then hustle to the area from which they are calling. We get to observe them as they feed in fruiting trees, lounge, and socialise with each other, or even, occasionally hunt.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

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

Moderate: Isunga Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp

Low Budget: Tents at Kibale Forest Camp | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 3: Wildlife Safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park

Either a day’s walk in the foothills of the Rwenzoris, one of the great mountain ranges of the world, looking out for its forbidding peaks in the distance, or drive straight 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.

In the afternoon enjoy a game drive in the northern part of the park, visiting the Baboon Cliff famous for its nice scenery, and good views of the shadows of the mountains of the moon – the Rwenzoris. The drive to the lodge leads through large expanses of savannah grasslands and plenty of wild game

Up-market/Luxury: Deluxe Tent/Deluxe room at Mweya Safari Lodge | Katara Lodge | Mazike Game Lodge| Kasenyi Safari Camp

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

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

Day 4: Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park

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.

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 foot 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 | Mazike Game Lodge| Kasenyi Safari Camp

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

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

Day 5: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Tree climbing lions' game drive in Ishasha

Mid-morning after breakfast we drive further south through stunning savannah grasslands as we head towards the breathtaking adventures of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Either (roads permitting) we will pass the southern sector of the park – Ishasha, a remote and beautiful extension of Queen Elizabeth National Park that is host to a large variety and volume of wildlife. (It is a fabulous site to see the lions draped from the trees and nowhere in Africa do you stand a better chance of seeing this than in the large low limbed fig tree of Ishasha). Or take the alternative route through cultivated expanses.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Buhoma Lodge | Mahogany Lodge | Nkuringo Gorilla Camp | Chameleon Hill Lodge

Moderate: Engagi Lodge | Silverback Lodge| Gorilla Mist Camp | Icumbi Gorilla Lodge

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

Day 6: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After breakfast, proceed for the morning briefing before enjoying the highlight of the trip - gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest, which may last the entire day.

We trek 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 tracking 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: Chameleon Hill Lodge | Gorilla Safari Lodge Rushaga

Moderate: Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge| Nkuringo Gorilla Camp | Mutanda Lake Resort

Low Budget: Travellers Rest Hotel 

Day 8: Golden Monkey Tracking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

After breakfast transfer to the Mgahinga National Park headquarters for briefing and later begin the hike over the volcanic terrain in search for golden monkeys in the bamboo forests.

Mgahinga National Park shares borders with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is also the most scenic as it stands at three volcanoes of Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo.

After the trek, you will be transferred to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation and overnight.

Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Up-market: Bird Nest Resort

Moderate: Bird Nest Resort

Low Budget:  Lake Bunyonyi Overland Resort 

Day 8: Depart to Entebbe (or Kigali - 4 hours)

Early breakfast before embarking on our return to Entebbe or Kigali, driving down the 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 highly fertile, mountainous region with steep-sided hills covered from top to bottom in neatly terraced cultivated 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 before for your flight back home.

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 programme

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MAIN NATIONAL PARKS FOR YOUR 8-DAY UGANDA SAFARI FOR GORILLAS, CHIMPS, WILDLIFE AND PRIMATES

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 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 catchment 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.

Kibale National Park

Once this tropical rainforest provided a (very substantial) dinner, bed and breakfast for large herds of migrating forest elephants and, even now, the park contain the largest population of these 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.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

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 the 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.

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 small size of the park ensures that your Uganda safari will be more rewarding with less effort. For withing minutes of game drives, you stand a chance to experience lots of wildlife and birds.

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.