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5 Days Gorilla and Chimpanzee Tracking Safari in Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

Exciting Primate Safari Tour in Uganda

Join this trip and see the beauty of Uganda with Friendly Gorillas Safaris! This safari will take you for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, west across the Albertine Rift Valley. Most importantly, this safari will take you to meet humans’ closest relative, the gorillas. There, you will view the terrain of the forest, the plant, animal life, and birdlife plus some butterflies, then you will head to Queen Elizabeth National Park for the launch trip on the Kazinga Channel and game driving.

Key information

  • Group and private safari possible, rates will vary depending on this
  • Minimum group size: 2 persons
  • Children policy: Children are allowed as participants starting from three years old
  • Starting point and ending point: Entebbe
  • All park fees are included

Meet the guides

Anthony
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Highlights

  • 2 game drives
  • Boat trip in Kazinga Channel
  • Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking safari
  • See the primates and other wildlife of Uganda
  • Visit Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kazinga Channel, and Kyambura Gorge
  • Transportation throughout the safari
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Gorilla permit included

Styles


5 activity days
Group size: Maximum of 6 participants
Airport transfer included: Entebbe International Airport
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
14:00
Check-out Time:
09:00

You will be provided with four nights of accommodation during this safari tour. On your days at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you have the option of staying at Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge or Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge.

Program

Day 1: Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After your early morning breakfast in Kampala, Friendly Gorillas Safaris’ driver guide / representative shall brief you about the safari. Afterwards, head to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest while driving through the Switzerland of Uganda, Kabale. This is a journey of about seven hours, so prepare!

You shall make a stopover at Uganda’s Equator for fantastic photoshoot before proceeding to Bwindi for an evening nature walk will lead you to the Munyaga Waterfall and a chance to see primates such as the Grey Cheeked Mangabey Blue monkeys and others species.

Day 2: Gorilla tracking at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

This is a special day dedicated for the impressive mountain gorillas. Undertaking the gorilla trekking experience in the hilly forested landscapes of Bwindi is such a life time endeavor that will create lasting memories. You will gather at the respective park headquarters for briefing in the morning at 8 a.m. where you are also allocated the respective gorilla families to track.

The encounter takes two to eight hours depending on the gorilla movements and one hour is availed to you to have a direct touch with the gorillas. Upon approaching gorillas, their reaction is not predictable as it can include them giving you a courteous welcome, minding less about you, or charging against you.

Retreat from the activity and embark on the transfer to Lake Bunyonyi, driving through fascinating Kigezi Highlands which locals apply terracing method to cultivate their slopes, deriving impressive scenic landscape. You will arrive at Lake Bunyonyi in the afternoon, after which you will embark on a thrilling boat ride to explore the Lake of a thousand Islands.

The views of the islands, the surrounding Kigezi Highlands, the bird life on the lake, and the sights of local people with their canoes as they connect to and from the Islands is very magical and impressive to explore before retiring for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to Queen Elizabeth National Park

After having your early breakfast, you will check out of your accommodation with the memories of the gorilla tracking involvement and you are off for your Uganda wildlife safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The journey to Queen Elizabeth will take you through as you experience the tree climbing lion sector of Ishasha en-route as you proceed to the lodging of your choice in Ishasha or around the Mweya part of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

After having your lovely lunch and a little relaxation, you will embark on a remarkable afternoon game drive in search of the parks mammals including lions, leopards, elephants, hyenas, bush pigs, monkeys, warthogs, and antelopes of different kids. Retreat from this activity and return to your favorite lodge for relaxation, dinner and overnight.

Day 4: Wildlife and game viewing at Queen Elizabeth National Park

In the morning, you will have breakfast at your lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park then you shall go for a game drive. While on the game drive, you will watch wildlife on their way back from the night hunt and these will include lumbering elephants, lions, and running warthogs with tails raised up. Remember, Queen Elizabeth National Park offers stunning views of the Rwenzori Mountains.

Then, it is time to return to your accommodation for relaxation and lunch. Do not forget to change your camera batteries since you will be going for a boat trip which is the park’s highlight for every visitor. The Kazinga Channel is shared by Lake Edward and Lake Gorge, running 40 kilometers between the two lakes.

In the afternoon, you will have a boat ride or boat cruise. The channel is home to many birds seen in the middle of the boat cruise, school of hippopotamus, buffaloes, and warthogs. Nothing like the swarms of pelicans on the shore, birds flying all over the channel and the boat takes you slowly as you take your Uganda wildlife pictures along the shores. A rewarding game viewing in the afternoon, to say the least.

You will return to your accommodation facility for dinner and a quiet evening at your lodge in the midst of the African savannah.

Day 5: Chimpanzee tour and return to Kampala

In the morning, you will be transferred to Kyambura Gorge for your exciting chimpanzee tracking safari before you travel back to Kampala. Kyambura Gorge alone is worth a visit without tracking the chimps. You will spend an hour with chimpanzees that are found there. You will then return to your lodge for lunch before your journey to Kampala. You will also stop at the equator for photos, gift, and craft shopping. You will reach Kampala in the evening hours.

Gorilla tracking rules and guidelines

Mountain Gorillas and humans share a lot in common. They are susceptible to human diseases like cough, etc. and also, mountain gorillas are endangered wild mammals. Therefore, to keep both, travelers and gorillas, safe, there are a few guidelines to follow. Below are some of the rules and regulations when doing gorilla tracking safari in Uganda;

Before trekking the Mountain Gorillas

  • All travelers must be aged 15 years and above.
  • Wash your hands before you go for gorilla trekking.
  • Keep your voices low. By keeping your voices low, this enables one to look out for different mammals in the forest. By lowering your voices you will have a chance to see more of the inhabitants of the forest.
  • Do not leave the rubbish behind during your trek, the animals might eat the rubbish and die; always keep all the rubbish in bags and go back with them.

When you encounter the gorillas

  • Always stand seven meters away from the gorillas; the more you stand back, the more relaxed they become to continue with their day to day life, witness them closely as they eat, play, groom each other, and display their nests; such a beautiful encounter.
  • Always keep your voices low, however questions are allowed to be asked in case you need to know more.
  • Stay in tight groups of eight.
  • Do not move around as the gorillas may take charge. Do not look directly in their eyes and do not run away as this may increase the risk.
  • You’re advised not to touch the gorillas as they are wild animals.
  • Do not eat, smoke, or drink. This may leave residues that gorillas might eat and might lead to transmission of diseases.
  • Flash cameras are not allowed during the trek as this may scare gorillas.
  • The maximum time to spend with the mountain gorillas is one hour. After all that time spent with the mountain gorillas, move 200 meters away and start talking, but in a low voice.
  • In case gorillas behave wildly, travelers are reminded to copy their movements, by crouching down to calm them down.

General health rules

  • If you need to use a toilet, you need to dig a hole of about 30 meters, fill and cover it up after use.
  • People with cough and flu are not allowed to trek with the gorillas. In case you are suffering from such diseases, you must turn your head around and cough and sneeze while covering yourself in order not to pass on the diseases.
  • If one feels ill or is carrying a contagious disease, you’re advised to stay behind and you will be refunded.

Guides

Anthony Nata

Location

This safari will take you from Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Kyambura Gorge in Uganda.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda, a glorious verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley. This ancient rainforest is one of the few in Africa to have flourished and a home to half of the world’s endangered population of mountain gorillas with the estimated number to be 400 individuals.

The Impenetrable Forest Reserve was gazetted in 1942, upgraded to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in 1992 and recognized as a World Heritage Site in 1994. In the local language, Bwindi actually means “darkness” and this is because of the way the forest is dark with no sunshine passing through the thick forest.

This double warning is apt, for Bwind is all but impenetrable; 327 square kilometers of tangled vegetation draped over a deeply fissured landscape of steep, slippery valleys and high, droughty ridges.

But if the terrain is far from easy to negotiate, it is well worth the effort. A trek through this thick forest, one of Africa’s most ancient rainforests, in search of the threatened Mountain Gorillas, ranks among the world’s premier wildlife adventures. Bwindi can be cold particularly in the morning and at night, the coldest months are June and July.

Warm clothing is required plus wet weather gear since Bwindi receives up to 2390 millimeters of rain per year. This is intense during the wet seasons, short rains in March to May and heavy rains in September to November. Instead of short tropical deluges, rain in Bwindi often falls as long hours of soft drizzles.

Food

Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided for you during this safari, as well as one bottle of distilled water per day.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Alcoholic drinks

What's included

  • 1 game drive
  • Gorilla trekking permit
  • Chimpanzee tracking
  • Boat ride in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Services of an English speaking driver-guide
  • Transportation throughout the safari
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals
  • 1 bottle of distilled water per day

What's not included

  • Any activity not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional activities
  • Visa

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Friendly Gorillas Safaris will pick you up from the airport.

Airport: Entebbe International Airport Airport transfer included: Entebbe International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 40% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

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