Game and Gorilla Safari Uganda

The gorilla tracking tour is designed for groups, visiting eight of Uganda's 10 national parks. You will see the gorillas of Bwindi South or Mgahinga, and track in Mgahinga, Nkuringo, Ishongi, or even in nearby Congo. Visit the source of the Nile River in Jinja, see game and birds in Murchison Falls National Park, go on launch cruises in Murchison, Queen Elizabeth, and Lake Bunyonyi, and visit crater lakes in Fort Portal.

Highlights

  • Guided game view drives
  • Gorilla and chimpanzee tracking safari
  • Includes gorilla and chimpanzee permits and park fees
  • See chimps, crocodiles, elephants, buffalos, and hippos
  • Visits eight of Uganda's national parks
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers

Styles


10 activity days in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 15

Airport transfer included: Entebbe International Airport

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Accommodation

The 11-day gorilla tour for groups is based on a minimum of six people, staying in comfortable, low budget accommodations. All accommodations are in bed and breakfast only. Contact Pinnacle Africa Safaris for details of a supplement for staying in luxury accommodations.

Pope Paul Memorial Hotel (1 night)

First night of the safari will be spent at Pope Paul VI Memorial Hotel in Kampala.

New Court View Hotel (1 night)

Though slightly overpriced, this British-owned lodge has a relaxed, old-school feel. It has cosy bandas, attractive patch of lawn, and a great little restaurant with the best food in town.

Red Chilli Camp (1 night)

After game views in Murchison Falls National Park, overnight will be at Red Chilli Camp. They have a fully stocked bar and restaurant below a large open thatched roof, with spectacular views towards the Nile. They offer low to mid-budget accommodation in the park, in furnished safari tents and bandas, with public or private bathrooms. There are modern showers, toilets, cooking area, and security lighting provided. A bonfire is lit most evenings for the full safari experience.

Kolping Hoima Hotel (1 night)

Kolping Hoima Hotel is ideally located in the heart of Hoima municipality, on the highway that leads you to the greatest ventures of midwestern Uganda, connecting to the waters of Lake Albert and into the Democratic Republic of Congo. Set in a cozy blend of old and new, Kolping Hotel is your personal ambassador to this Ugandan city of oil. It offers you modern and spacious rooms.

Raja Excelsior Hotel (1 night)

The hotel has 18 guest rooms located on two floors. Each room is well appointed with private toilet and shower, television, intercom, and fan. All double rooms and twin rooms have balconies, where you can view the town and its surrounding vegetations, and the Ruwenzori Mountains.

The restaurant enables you to relax in cool surrounding, and offers you food of your choice, be it continental, African, or a blend of both. You may relax in the lounge bar while enjoying soft background music or watch TV. Other facilities and services include in-house laundry, internet services, room service, and full time power supply.

Simba Safari Camp (2 nights)

Simba Camp is your accommodation in Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will find a variety of comfortable and affordable guest rooms, in a large expanse of compound. Perched on a hill, the camp offers spectacular views of Lake George, Lake Kikorongo, and the classic African savannah plains stretching to the distant horizon.

It is the closest accommodation for game drives in the Kasenyi plains. Elephants and buffalos can even be viewed from the camp. Delicious meals are served at an open-air restaurant to give you a taste of real African cuisine. Guests can also choose a wake-up call with fresh tea or coffee served on their verandas.

Virunga Hotel Kisoro (2 nights)

Virunga Hotel is an ideal solution for those visiting the southwest of Uganda, and those on their way to Rwanda, Congo, and the Nkuringo sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for gorilla tracking activities. The region of Kigezi is well known as “the Switzerland of Africa”. The region boasts evergreen rain forest, vast bamboo forests, beautiful lakes, and wonderful rolling hill landscape. The hotel enjoys a wonderful location in the shadow of the Virunga volcanoes, enjoying incredible panoramic views of these mountains.

Crater Bay Cottages (1 night)

On the lake shores, Crater Bay Cottages offers you a base to explore Lake Bunyonyi or a wonderful stop over after you have visited the mountain gorillas in the national parks of Uganda. Each of the 12 cottages is located in a terraced block, with amazing views of the lake. The cottages are self-contained, with wonderful gardens where you can sit and read a book, or listen to the birds sing.

Pinnacle Africa Uganda Safaris Itinerary

Day 1 - Entebbe, Kampala

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Meet, greet, and transfer to Kampala. Start for Jinja, the source of the mighty Nile River, via Mukono and through Mabira forest, the largest in central Uganda. Proceed to Jinja past the Owen Falls Dam, Uganda's main hydro electricity dam. Your trip ends with Bujagali Falls on the other end of the Nile. Return to Kampala in the late afternoon. Overnight will be at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel.

Day 2 - Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Masindi

There is a briefing from your guide before taking a gentle drive for Murchison Falls Conservation Area. You will drive through Luwero. You will have lunch en route and continue to Nakasongora. Evening and overnight will be spent at New Court View Hotel.

Day 3 - Murchison Falls National Park

You will enter Murchison Falls, the largest national park in the country, with chimps, birds, crocodile, and game. There will be an early morning game viewing north of the Nile. The launch trip will be at the bottom of the mighty exciting falls, with crocodiles and a vast array of birds, including the rare shoebill stork, lounging on the banks of the Nile. Hippos are also everywhere. There will be an evening game drive. You'll visit the top of the stimulating Murchison Falls, crashing through a narrow gorge. Overnight will be at Red Chilli Camp.

Day 4 - Chimpanzee tracking in Budongo, Hoima

You'll drive to Kaniyo-Pabidi in Budongo Forest and go for a guided nature walk to track chimpanzees. Budongo is also known for its many plant and bird species. On return, drive to Hoima via the mesmerizing Lake Albert, view fishing villages, local communities, and local fishermen. Overnight will be at Kolping Hotel Hoima. Approximate driving time is five hours.

Day 5 - Hoima to Fort Portal

You will drive south to Fort Portal past big tea plantations, and have lunch en route. Then, you proceed to your lodging in Kibale. You can either explore a crater lake nearby or relax at your lodging. Approximate driving time is five hours. Overnight will be at Raja Excelsior Hotel.

Day 6 - Fort Portal to Queen Elizabeth Park

It is time to visit the crater lakes in Kibale and Fort Portal. After lunch, you will drive to Queen Elizabeth Park. Overnight will be at Simba Safari Camp.

Day 7 - Queen Elizabeth Park

There will be an early morning game drive in the park. A boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel is a rewarding experience. Overnight will be at Simba Safari Camp.

Day 8 - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Drive to Kisoro, stop at Kanaba Gap to view the dramatic virunga volcanoes, visit Lake Mutanda, and other lakes in Kisoro. Arrive late afternoon and finalize border arrangements for the tracking to Congo the next day. Overnight will be at Virunga Hotel Kisoro.

Day 9 - Gorilla tracking

You will be accompanied by a guide and porters, who will carry your shoulder pack for you. You will then set off to the thick forest in search of gorillas. The terrain can be difficult, with steep slopes covered in dense vegetation that gives the park its name. In addition, the altitude of over 5200 feet means participants do need to be physically fit.

The time spent tracking gorillas varies enormously, from as little as half an hour to as much as nine hours before one returns to camp. However, coming face to face with the great primates is well worth it.

Tracking through the thick jungle, traversing canopies of thick undergrowth can be tough, arduous, and wet. Trackers therefore need to be well-equipped with food and water, strong waterproof clothing, jungle boots, long-sleeved shirt, and must be fit and healthy. Overnight will be at Virunga Hotel Kisoro.

Day 10 - Lake Bunyonyi

After breakfast, there will be a gentle drive to Lake Bunyonyi for mesmerizing views of the lake, relaxing at the sandy beaches, and exploring nearby local communities. Lake Bunyonyi is one of Uganda's most conspicuous lakes and the deepest lake in Uganda. Overnight will be at Crater Bay Cottages.

Day 11 - Departure

You will return to Kampala via Masaka, with lunch en route. Approximate driving time is six hours.

Location

Kampala, Uganda

The country is rich in wildlife, game, birds, and a vast culture of over 50 tribes occupying the beautiful, green territory. In Uganda alone, a birder will enjoy twelve percent of bird species in the world. A tracker will find half of the world’s gorillas. An explorer will have the opportunity to see more than 7% of the world’s mammals.

Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary

After the years of civil unrest and poaching, the rhino became extinct in Uganda in 1983. Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary is there for the natural breeding of rhinos. It aims at having a breeding stock of at least twenty rhinos. The parks should be safe and secure enough, with well-trained staff in rhino conservation and monitoring before any rhino is released back into national parks.

Murchison Falls National Park

The Murchison Falls Conservation Area is the largest in Uganda. Budongo and Kaniyo Pabidi forests are filled with chimps and birds. It is a stunning habitat for wildlife, birds, and vegetation. Crocodiles, hippos, elephants, and birds, including the rare shoebill stork, can be found on the banks of the Nile.

With over 1000 chimpanzees in the forests, Murchison is thought to have the largest chimp numbers in the region. The launch trip to the bottom of the falls, lasting about three hours, is unforgettable. You can see elephants, buffalos, crocodiles, and hippos on the Nile banks. On the game drive, leopards, antelopes, Rothschild's giraffes, and lions can also be seen.

Over 450 bird species have been recorded. Perhaps the frothiest attraction in the area is the sterling Murchison Falls. For about 80 kilometers from Karuma Falls in the east, the Nile is a rushing torrent of water which drops about 300 meters. It spills over the ancient rocks that form the Western Rift Valley wall, gushing through a seven-meter gorge and into the cauldron of turbulent water below, forming the fall.

Budongo Forest

Budongo Forest is the biggest mahogany forest found in the whole of east Africa, as well as habitat to the largest number of chimpanzees throughout Uganda. The average weight of an adult male chimpanzee is between 35 and 70 kilograms, with a height of approximately 3 meters.

Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans, sharing about 98% of their DNA composition with humans. They are sociable, intelligent, as well as communicative. Among their very fascinating traits is the ability to utilize tools like rocks for crushing nuts, empty pods for hollowing out water, plus sticks for capturing termites from their holes.

Fort Portal

Fort Portal is a town located in western Uganda. It is situated at 1,500 meters altitude, and overlooks the mountains of the Ruwenzori Range and the Mufumbiro volcanoes. It is linked by road with Rubona, Kyenjojo, and Kyegegwa. It is an important market and processing center for cotton, peanuts, sesame, corn, coffee, tobacco, castor-oil seeds, tea, tropical fruits, and vegetables.

Industrial products include beverages, textiles, furniture, paper, soap, confectionery, shoes, and metal goods. Fort Portal provides a base for mountaineering in the Ruwenzori Range. The Bwamba Pass, the Hot Springs of Bundibugyo, and the Ileri Forest are nearby points of interest.

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park, below the famous Rwenzori Mountains, is an African savannah park, consisting of plain surroundings. The park, which is part of the western arm of the great east African Rift Valley, is centered around Lake Edward and Lake George.

Around Ishasha, you can see the famous tree-climbing lions, which lounge nonchalantly in the upper branches of high trees. The beautiful steeply forested Kyambura Gorge nearby, is home not only to chimpanzees but also to the red-tailed monkey, black and white colobus, and many bird species.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is on the edge of the Rift Valley. The park is also rich in birds, chimps, monkeys, and butterflies. Bwindi is one of the largest natural forests in east Africa, with both montane and lowland forest. About half of the world's population of mountain gorillas - about 400 animals - are found in Bwindi.

There is Bwindi-North and Bwindi South. In Bwindi South, which you will visit, there are five gorilla families. Other activities in the area include volcano climbing, guided nature walk in the forest for primates, birds, and butterflies, or enjoying the breathtaking landscape.

Lake Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi ("place of many little birds") lies in southwestern Uganda, between Kisoro and Kabale, close to the border with Rwanda. It is located at 1,962 meters altitude. The depth of the lake is rumored to vary between 44 and 900 meters. If true, it would make the lake the second deepest in Africa.

Food

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and water is provided during the safari.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Drinks

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)

  • Enjoy a competitive game of golf, tennis, and squash in Kampala
  • Experience volcano climbing
  • Go sailing or waterskiing on Lake Victoria
  • Go swimming in the hotels' swimming pools
  • Play a game of football, rugby, tennis, and crickets at clubs found in the main towns

What's included

  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Boat trips
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and water
  • English-speaking driver and guide
  • Gorilla and chimpanzee permits where appropriate
  • Ground transportation and safari vehicle
  • Park fees
  • Porterage of two items of baggage per person

What's not included

  • Airport taxes
  • Drinks
  • Entry visas
  • Flight costs
  • Telephone calls
  • Tips

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Pinnacle Africa 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 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
11 days / 10 nights
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Availability

Available to start any month of the year, with arrival on the first Sunday of the month.

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