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Buffalo herd in the mud, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Conclusive Uganda Gorilla trek, Primate tracking & Wildlife Safari - 10 Days

All-Conclusive Uganda Gorilla trek, Primate tracking & Wildlife Safari - 10 Days

Gorillas and Wildlfe Safaris Hall of Fame Trip Advisor RecommendedDiscover Uganda’s most beautiful parks on this very comprehensive Uganda primate, wildlife safari. Visitors that have done this 10 day Uganda Gorillas, primates and wildlife safari testify it's one of the best Uganda tourist circuit enabling them to encounter the rarest of the rare in the African jungles including elephant, lion, Cape buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, hartebeest, waterbuck, bushbuck, hyena among others, not forgetting the greatest primates including the chimpanzees and the gorillas.

The Conclusive Uganda Gorilla trek, Primate tracking & Wildlife Safari starts from Kibale NP with chimps tracking and other primates there, then on to Queen Elizabeth National Park for game drives, a boat trip on Kazinga channel, and the tree-climbing lions in Ishasha Sector. We then drive to Bwindi for gorilla trekking and after onward to Lake Mburo National Park for more wildlife game drives looking for giraffes, zebra, buffalo, among others. If you love birds, this Uganda safari serves you best as well. You have a diversity of natural habitats to enjoy birding in Kibale, Queen Elizabeth NP Bwindi and acacia related birds in Lake Mburo NP.

This tour can start on any day from Entebbe (Uganda). It is private transfer based but on the treks into the forests and boats you are joined by other tourists.

Overview
More Detailed Itinerary
Inclusions
Overview

Brief Itinerary for the All-Conclusive Uganda Gorilla trek, Primate tracking & Wildlife Safari - 10 Days

  • Day 1: The 10 days Uganda gorilla trek, primate tracking, and wildlife safari starts from your hotel in Entebbe or Kampala. The safari/tour guide shall be meeting you at 8 am to set off to Kibale National Park (about 5 hours drive)
  • Day 2: Chimpanzee tracking and other primates' encounters in Kibale National Park; Guided primates walk in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
  • Day 3: Crater lakes sightseeing, late morning drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park doing safari game drives along the way 
  • Day 4: All morning game drive rumble in the Northern sectors of Queen Elizabeth National Park rich in African savannah wildlife. In the afternoon, a 3 hours boat trip along Kazinga channel for closer encounters with large elephant herds,, buffalo, hippopotami, crocodiles, among others. If you have time in the evening, another game drive could be arranged, or you could arrange for an optional guided nature walk with the park ranger. 
  • Day 5: More game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Drive to Maramagambo Forest for a guided forest. In the afternoon, we shall be doing game drives in the south of the park, looking out for tree-climbing lions in Ishasha Sector.
  • Day 6: Game drives and transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest traversing remote African farming villages along the way.
  • Day 7: Gorilla trekking in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Day 8: Drive through some of the most beautiful African landscapes to Lake Mburo National Park
  • Day 9: All mornings game drives in Lake Mburo National Park. You could also opt for guided walks, cycling, or horseriding game drives in the park.
  • Day 10: Exit Lake Mburo National Park and return to Entebbe Airport for departure, having a stop-over at the Equator crossing point.
More Detailed Itinerary

Detailed day-to-day Tour Program for the Conclusive Uganda Gorilla trek, Primate tracking & Wildlife Safari: 

Day 1: Start the Uganda Safari with driving to Kibale National Park, 

Your safari guide shall be linking up with you at your hotel in Kampala or Entebbe at 08:00 AM (or airport but arriving before 11 am). Most of the morning today is spent driving to our first destination, Kibale National Park located in the west of Uganda, taking us about 5 hours. The road is mostly smooth over surfaced roads with about 20 minutes on dusty roads.

The countryside is fabulously beautiful with expansive carpets of plantations of banana, coffee, tea lying along. The lush rolling hills of this region provide good photo opportunities.

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. 

Kibale Forest Accommodation: 

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

Moderate: Isunga Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp (ensuite safari tents)

Low Budget: Kibale Forest Camp (Tents)| Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (ensuite rooms in the main house )

Day 2: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park & other Primates

This morning we shall be having our first African big primates' encounter with chimpanzee tracking in Kibale. Speaking in general terms, this should be a moderately easy jungle walk with some gentle hills/ slopes to go over and should be 2-3 hours.

Your driver picks you from the lodge after you have had your breakfast and transfers you to the Kibale park office where the permits' accrediting and chimpanzee trekking briefing is conducted before entry into the deep of the forest. You shall also be allocated to a group of other tourists (usually not more than 8 in total) with whom you share park guides to a particular chimpanzee troupe. As you walk in the forest, it is not uncommon to encounter other primates and forest wildlife. The most common these are the black and white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, but you could be luckier meeting bush babies and pottos as well. If you are a keen birder, keep a sharp ear for the yellow-spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, and black bee-eater.

When you are finally able to locate the chimpanzees, your trek guides shall be giving further instructions on how to best conduct yourself in their presence. The chimps you track in Kibale are more accustomed to tourist visits although they are still wild. They will not be running away from the tourists but will not be attacking you when you are in their presence. Most of the time, they keep going on with their usual business of feeding, hunting, socializing, fighting each other, and nest building even as you watch and take photographs. You shall be allowed at least 1 hour with them and after which the head guide will motion for you to prepare for your departure. 

Meanwhile, as you trek back, be on a careful lookout for the other mammals in the forest. Many trekkers encounter elephants and buffalo as they walk and this could be dangerous as well.

Communication will be sent to your driver to meet you closer so that you don't have to trek longer back. He will then transfer you back to the lodge for a relaxed evening and overnight.

Kibale Forest Accommodation: 

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

Moderate: Isunga Lodge | Kibale Forest Camp (ensuite safari tents)

Low Budget: Kibale Forest Camp (Tents)| Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse (ensuite rooms in the main house )

Day 3: Explore the crater lakes region, Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park enjoying game drives along the way

Your driver shall be picking you from the lodge after your breakfast for another adventurous day ahead. First, we shall take time to visit and explore the scenic crater lakes region, checking out the superbly terraced tea estates. In the south of Fort Portal is the Kasenda Crater Lakes region. It sits on the rim of Lake Nyinambuga—the back of the main building looks down over the lake, while the other side of the lodge looks out over another lake in the distance and, further off, the Rwenzori Mountains, which were perpetually shrouded in the clouds, except early in the morning. There’s just so much to enjoy in this region.  

We shall then continue with our drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park. This should normally take you about ±2 hours. If the weather is good with clear skies, you can be able to the Rwenzori mountains as we drive along. The peak of the Rwenzori Mountains is at 16000 ASL and is snow-capped. On clear sky days, the scene is marvelous to partake. In fact, the locals here call it the "Mountains of the Moon".

As we enter the park, there is lots of wildlife along the plains. Needless to say, your safari guide shall take you on a game drive on those tracks renowned for having a lot more than others. You will expect to see teeming herds of impala-like Uganda kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. 

After exploiting all that we can for the day, your safari guide shall transfer you to your accommodation for a relaxed dinner and overnight.

Queen Elizabeth National Park Accommodation options (all on full board basis): 

Up-market/Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge (deluxe room or tent) | Katara Lodge

Mid-range or moderate facility: Ihamba Lakeside Safari Resort| Enganzi Lodge | Bush Lodge (ensuite safari tent)

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

Meals included today: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4: Wildlife/ Game Drives in Northern Queen Elizabeth National Park, Afternoon Boat Trip on Kazinga Channel

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 the entire half of the day to do these wildlife safaris/ game drives so long as you are still interested but your safari guide shall be deploying all their expertise to ensure you get to sight as much as possible is the first few hours of the morning.

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.

Accommodation options for the 2nd night in Queen Elizabeth National Park (all on full board basis)

Up-market/Luxury: Mweya Safari Lodge (deluxe room or tent) | Katara Lodge

Mid-range or moderate facility: Ihamba Lakeside Safari Resort| Enganzi Lodge | Bush Lodge (ensuite safari tent)

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

Meals included today: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 5: Tree climbing lions in Ishasha & Maramagambo Forest Bush Walk

We shall try to depart before 8 am this morning from the lodge. Our first stop shall be Maramagambo Forest, one of East Africa's largest and oldest forest. We have booked a guided walk along the most enriching tracks in the forest so that acquaint yourself more with its primates and other forest dwellers. There are also several rare butterflies and bird species inhabiting the forest.

The walk shall be culminating at the picturesque blue lake Kimeranjojo which got its name after swallowing an elephant. Other trails will lead you to the Crater Lake and habitats of the wild chimps and forest bird.

In the afternoon you will proceed to the Ishasha Sector. Drive along the deep and wide dry craters that are occupied by savanna grasses and acacia. The drive takes you through the unique western rift valley escarpment and the (southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park) Ishasha sector where you will take on yet another game drive in search of tree climbing lions in the afternoon and evening. 

Ishasha Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market/Luxury: Ishasha Wilderness Campsite

Mid-range: Enjojo Lodge 

Budget:  Enjojo Lodge (in the shared bathroom tent)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 6: Game drive, Ishasha Tree-climbing Lions, Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 

You might prefer to have a relaxed morning by the deck of your tent/ cottage before our departure to Bwindi. Or you could rise up earlier to engage in one more game drive in the Ishasha Sector before continuing off to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  

If your gorilla tracking permits are booked in the North of Bwindi, your journey today takes about 2-3 hours but if they are for the southern sectors (Rushaga/ Nkuringo/ Gorilla Habituation Experience), your journey should be not less than 5 hours today.

Bwindi is undoubtedly one of the most virgin forests one can experience in Africa. The remoteness and inviting quietness of the place is so refreshing that many want to spend more nights at the end of their stay. The forest itself is lush and green and there are streams running through it. Although the park is famous for being the home of the rare mountain gorillas, there are 11 other primates species including the chimpanzee, L'Hoest's, red-tailed, blue monkey, black and white colobus, and baboon. There are also at least 310 species of butterfly, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths, and an exceptional 120 types of mammal.  

Bwindi Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Mahogany Lodge or Buhoma Lodge  or Bwindi Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge or  Chameleon Hill Lodge (Possible to upgrade to Gorilla Forest Camp or Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge)

Moderate: Silverback Lodge or Engagi Lodge or Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge 

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

Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 7: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The most exciting, and yet also exhausting day of your Uganda safari is today! For most of our guests, gorilla trekking is definitely the highlight of their visit to Africa, and no doubt it could be for you too.

The gorilla trek commences at 7:45 am daily from the Bwindi park headquarters and your driver shall ensure you are there in good time. While there, there shall be accreditation for your gorilla tracking permit before the pre-trek briefing. The briefing is meant to prepare you on how to behave while interfacing the mountain gorillas in their jungles, as well as passing on more information about their conservation and the ecology of Bwindi.

Most gorilla treks into the forest commence a few minutes' driving from the park offices but some start right at the park offices. Either way, your safari guide will be on hand to give all the assistance needed. You shall be allocated to a group of not more 8 persons in total with whom you visit one gorilla group/family. Trekking to the gorillas can take about 30 minutes to 3 hours before you reach them although there shall be allowed numerous stops along the trek for your to catch your breath, and also for the guides to explain more about the other wildlife you shall probably be encountering along.  For the ardent birder, there are at least 350 bird species in Bwindi, seven of 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.

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 meters from the gorillas, sit around them for a whole hour while gazing into their big round eyes.

2nd Night in Bwindi Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Mahogany Lodge or Buhoma Lodge  or Bwindi Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge or  Chameleon Hill Lodge (Possible to upgrade to Gorilla Forest Camp or Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge)

Moderate: Silverback Lodge or Engagi Lodge or Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge 

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

Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 8: A Scenic Drive to Lake Mburo National Park

In the evening days of your Uganda Gorilla trek, Primate tracking & Wildlife Safari, we shall be winding up with a visit to the beautiful and fascinating  Lake Mburo National Park. The park is renowned for its herds of antelope and one of the only two Ugandan parks home to Burchell’s zebra. The park is also especially good for the acacia-associated birds.

On arrival, you can choose to rest for the rest of the day at your accommodation or engage in a game drive during the evening.

Lake Mburo 1st night Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Luxury: Mihingo Lodge | Mantana Tented Camp | Arcadia Cottages

Medium: Rakobo Rock Lodge or Lake Mburo Safari Lodge

Low Budget: Mburo Eagles Nest | Leopard camp

Day 9: Lake Mburo National Park Game Drives and Boat Trip

We have a game drive covering most of the tracks in the park. Your guide shall liaise with the park guides about which tracks have more wildlife sighting on the day you are visiting.

If you have the time, other optional tourist activities for you to engage in include ranger-escorted cycling and horseback riding as you search for the wildlife here. 

Our game drives in Lake Mburo NP have often presented a good chance of seeing hyenas coming back to their dens, hippos walking back to the water, buffalo, zebra, impala and topi and with a bit of luck maybe even a sitatunga, an antelope rarely seen living in the papyrus swamps.

After lunch take a boat trip inside Lake Mburo and see for yourself the Crocodiles, Pelicans, Hippos, Herons, and the rare Shoebill stork. The most popular activity in Lake Mburo is the motorboat trip on the lake. A journey on the lake will provide great opportunities to observe mighty hippo and croc populations. Waterbird species are often too numerous for even the keenest birder to identify them all. These great wildlife experiences coupled with the stunning scenery and panoramic landscape views will really impress upon you true African beauty.

Lake Mburo 2nd night Accommodation options available (all on full board basis)

Luxury: Mihingo Lodge | Mantana Tented Camp | Arcadia Cottages

Medium: Rakobo Rock Lodge or Lake Mburo Safari Lodge

Low Budget: Mburo Eagles Nest | Leopard camp

Day 10: Depart to Entebbe, End the Uganda Gorilla trek, Primate tracking & Wildlife Safari

Heading south-east from Lake Mburo, we bid farewell to the park’s friendly staff as we depart for Entebbe.

We drive through a magnificent hilly country and lush cultivation on an approximately four-hour journey. En route we will stop at the Equator for photographs and ‘polar-water experiment', then a local community popular for making local drums (Mpabire Village), gardens, crafts shops, and fruit markets.

We will be in Entebbe in the evening before for your flight back home.

End of Uganda Gorilla trek, Primate tracking & Wildlife Safari.

 

Inclusions

Included

  • Gorilla permits (each at US$700)
  • Chimpanzee viewing permits (each at US$200)
  • Meals indicated on the programme
  • Accommodation as per programme
  • Park fees for the various parks
  • Private transportation using a safari land-cruisers
  • Services of a good English speaking safari guide and local guides on treks 
  • Entrance fees for tours mentioned in the programme
  • Boat rides as on the programme

Excluded

  • Flight tickets and departure taxes
  • Extra gorilla permits ($700 each)
  • Travel documentation (visas)
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Optional excursions
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Tips and gratuities for your guides and accommodation staff
  • Laundry
  • Beverages other than mineral water in the vehicle and at mealtimes with meals
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls, postage fees and so on
  • Meals not indicated on your detailed itinerary

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Enquire about this safari and tour prices.

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Is the All-Conclusive Uganda Gorilla trek, Primate tracking & Wildlife Safari for me?

TRAVEL STYLE: GWS Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

SERVICE LEVEL: Up-gradable

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other GWS tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

PHYSICAL RATING: 3 Moderate Difficulty

Heavy walking and hiking are suitable for most high fitness levels. Very challenging terrain.

AGE REQUIREMENT: 16+

Travelers bellow the age of 16 will not be allowed to trek gorillas but can be left at the lodge to tour the villages with a guide.

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