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12 Days Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking Adventure Safari in Uganda

Urban City Blue, Akii Bua Road, Kampala, Uganda

Unique Safari in Uganda

This 12 days Uganda adventure safari starts and ends at Entebbe International Airport. Meet face to face with the amazing gorillas and chimpanzees of Uganda in their natural habitat, one of Africa’s major highlights. This close encounter with these amazing apes is simply breathtaking. Also, get a close encounter with other diverse African wildlife, beautiful landscapes, and amazing culture. And, if you are a keen birder, this is the place to be!

Key information

  • Minimum group size: 1 person
  • Maximum group size: 10 persons
  • Children policy: Children are allowed on this safari starting from the age of 5
  • Starting point and ending point: Entebbe International Airport (EBB)
  • English speaking guide
  • All park fees are included

Highlights

  • 4 game viewing drives
  • A professional driver / guide
  • Explore Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth national parks
  • See gorillas, chimpanzees, elephants, hippos, lions
  • Park fees, gorilla and chimp permits
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Daily delicious meals
  • Airport transfers

Styles


11 activity days
The maximum participants in the group is 10
Airport transfer included: Entebbe International Airport
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Accommodation

You will be accommodated at various accommodations, as follows: Urban City Blue on the first night, Murchison River Lodge on the second and third nights, Crater Safari Lodge on the fourth and fifth nights, Park View Safari Lodge on the sixth and seventh nights, Gorilla Safari Lodge on the eighth and ninth nights, Bunyonyi Safaris Resort on the tenth night, and Rwaboko Rock on the eleventh night.

Night 1: Urban City Blue

This relaxed hotel on a tree-lined road is three kilometers from both the Uganda Museum and the Uganda National Mosque, and four kilometers from the Kasubi Tombs, a resting place for deceased Buganda rulers.

The rooms have flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and tea and coffee making equipment. Upgraded rooms add minibars and balconies; some have garden or outdoor pool views. Suites include living and dining areas.

Breakfast and parking are complimentary. There’s also a restaurant with a poolside terrace. Other amenities include an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a garden.

Nights 2 and 3: Murchison River Lodge

Murchison River Lodge is located on the southern bank of the Nile River, overlooking Murchison Falls National Park, pods of hippos, and papyrus islands. In beautiful surroundings, the lodge offers comfortable and relaxing mid-range accommodation to suit all budgets.

Well appointed en-suite thatched cottages, thatched safari tents each with private facilities, and comfortable already-set-up camping tents around the shaded campsite are all available on-site.

If you would prefer to bring your own tent, they have covered areas for self-catering in the campsite, including a fire pit and excellent shower and toilet facilities.

Nights 4 and 5: Crater Safari Lodge

Just a few minutes away from the lush green tropical rain forest of Kibale Forest National Park, Crater Safari Lodge offers incomparable luxury, breathtaking scenery, and outstanding opportunities to observe the unique wildlife. On the banks of Nyinabulitwa Crater Lake, Crater Safari Lodge blends perfectly with its surrounding landscape.

Designed to blend unobtrusively into the surrounding scenery, Crater Safari Lodge is comprised of deluxe cottages with thatched roofing and timber decking. In total, there are nine suites; one suite is a honeymoon suite; two suites are able to host up to four travelers and are ideal for sharing by families or groups. Guests will not have to forfeit little comforts despite the remote and quiet location of the lodge.

Running hot and cold water is available in the en-suite baths and solar-powered lighting is available. The beautiful views stretch out over Lake Nyinabulitwa and the lush greenery surrounding the lodge is a constant and soothing presence, ensuring guests are always enveloped in untouched wilderness.

Bespoke furnishings enhance the comfort in each suite and transition throughout every common area, as well. Lounge at leisure, observe the surrounding scene from the main camp’s resting area, and each evening gather around the camp fire to reflect on the adventures of the day.

Relax any time of day with a meal from the restaurant and sample a safari cocktail from the fully-stocked bar. Guests in search of some pampering in the wild can request treatments from the mobile spa or indulge in a little retail therapy at the crafts shop.

Amenities at the lodge include a restaurant, bar, lounge, crafts shop, mobile spa facility, swimming pool, and campfire area overlooking the Crater Lake.

Nights 6 and 7: Parkview Safari Lodge

Parkview Safari Lodge offers undeniable luxury with inventive accommodations presenting an authentic African touch. Unwind in the relaxed atmosphere, enjoy the serene wilderness, and explore your luxurious rooms designed with your utmost comfort in mind and featuring local and cultural setups.

The lush en-suite cottages are nicely placed in a natural ecosystem setting crafted using natural materials and fitted with canvas that blends with their surroundings. The cottages are thatched with local grass, presenting a cool atmosphere suitable for relaxation while on safari.

Equipped with both hot and cold running water, the bath tubs and showers overlook the wilderness, while the private wooden decks offer uninterrupted views of the park's savanna when lit by electricity.

Parkview Safari Lodge is considerably rich in facilities, including a fully equipped conference hall, restaurant with an extensive menu providing both local and international cuisine, library and reading area, sauna and steam bath, massage parlor, gift shop, extensive swimming pool offering a deep bath after an extensive game drive, laundry services, internet connectivity that keeps one connected to the outside world, and a well stocked bar.

Besides the lush en-suite cottages, the lodge also features well-built standard rooms set with concrete materials, providing a rather affordable accommodation to the price sensitive travelers. The rooms have hot and cold shower among other exciting services that surpass your expectations. The guests in these rooms have access to the swimming pool and restaurant, among other facilities.

Nights 8 and 9: Gorilla Safari Lodge

Gorilla Safari Lodge is a relaxed and luxurious lodge on the boundary line of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (just a five minutes walk to the starting point of trekking the gorillas). It offers luxury accommodation in sixteen spacious cottages, each providing the perfect setting to relax after an exciting day of trekking.

The well-appointed cottages all have solar-powered lighting, en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold water and flush toilets, and individual verandas offering excellent views of the unspoiled tropical rain forest.

Two of the cottages have two rooms (both en-suite and featuring a cozy fireplace) with an inter-joining door, making them the ideal choice for families or larger groups of people traveling together. There is also a spa where you can have a massage after the tiresome gorilla trekking / habituation experience. The main lodge includes a restaurant, bar, lounge, and campfire area overlooking the forest.

Night 10: Bunyonyi Safaris Resort

Situated in Kabale, Bunyonyi Safaris Resort features free Wi-Fi. This four-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk. The property has a sauna, evening entertainment, and a shared kitchen. A continental breakfast is available daily at the hotel. The restaurant at Bunyonyi Safaris Resort specializes in African cuisine.

At the accommodation, guests are welcome to take advantage of a fitness room. They can also make use of the business center or relax at the bar.

Night 11: Rwaboko Rock

Welcome to Rwakobo Rock, an eco-friendly, family run hotel and restaurant nestled on a scenic outcrop at the edge of Lake Mburo National Park. Rwakobo Rock is a peaceful and secluded retreat where you can breathe in the essence of wild Uganda. The eight comfortable and spacious cottages are dotted around the hill, all very private and offering great sunset views. The main dining area overlooks an expanse of rock that adjoins the park.

Program

Day 1: Entebbe - Kampala

You will be met and greeted at Entebbe International Airport, where your Uganda Adventure Safari starts, by a representative who will warmly welcome you and facilitate seamless arrival formalities. You will then be transferred to your hotel where you will be debriefed about your adventure safari.

Depending on the time of arrival, you are advised to have money exchanged on this day and, if time allows it, you may opt for a city tour with the help of your driver / guide, during which you will visit and hike the Gadaffi Mosque Tower at an extra fee of 10 USD per person or visit the Kasubi Royal Tombs at an extra fee of 5 USD per person, together with the Bulange Mengo and Mengo Palace, each at an extra 5 USD per person.

  • Overnight at Urban City Blue (Breakfast)

Day 2: Kampala - Murchison Falls National Park

After your early morning breakfast, drive northwest to Murchison Falls National Park. You may stop over to opt for a one and a half hours rhino tracking experiences in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary at an extra fee of 45 USD per person.

You will be in the midst of over 15 rhinos which were reintroduced through poaching after their extinction in the 1970s. A local ranger guide will lead you on foot to an up-close encounter with the rhinos, which may take about one and a half hours. Proceed to Masindi town for lunch and, later, continue to Murchison Falls National Park, arriving at your lodge in the late afternoon.

  • Overnight at Murchison River Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park

Arise very early in the morning for your game drive on the northern bank of the Nile River in your open-roof vehicle which will give you an excellent opportunity to view and photograph the diverse wildlife.

After lunch, go for a boat cruise upstream the calm Victoria Nile to the base of the falls, stopping just a few meters from the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’. Marvel at the schools of hippos, crocodiles, and, over the 17 kilometers stretch, you may see elephants, waterbucks, and Ugandan kobs, along with many birds.

After taking shots of the photogenic Murchison Falls, you may choose to continue to hike the top of the falls at an extra fee of 15 USD per person, where you will have an amazing view of the falls. See where the Nile - world’s longest river - explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool 43 meters below. Later, return to your lodge and relax in the evening.

  • Overnight at Murchison River Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 4: Murchison Falls - Kibale Forest National Park

After your morning breakfast, begin your journey to Kibale Forest National Park. Drive south via Hoima to Fort Portal through verdant countryside, passing through traditional homesteads, farms, and tea estates. You will have a stopover for lunch en-route. You will arrive at your lodge in the late afternoon. Check in at your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

  • Overnight at Crater Safari Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 5: Chimp trekking in Kibale Forest National Park

After breakfast at your lodge, transfer to the starting point of your chimpanzee tracking experience in Kibale Forest National Park which is reputed to have the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. The most famous of its 13 species is the chimpanzee, man’s closest relative. Kibale’s 1450 chimpanzees represent Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate.

Kibale is also a home to the rare I’Hoest’s monkey. Other primates include the black and white colobus, blue monkey, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkey, olive baboon, to mention but a few. So, you will enjoy a guided nature walk in the tropical rain forest in search of the wild chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and many others.

Alternatively, you may opt for a chimpanzee habituation experience by paying a supplement of 50 USD. This exercise takes the whole day. Only six people are allowed per day, and you will be sure to come face to face with these closest cousins of man. Advance booking is necessary for this option.

After lunch, you will go for a Bigodi Swamp walk and meet with the community. Bigodi was established by a local development organization to protect the 4 square kilometers Magombe Swamp that’s home to around 200 species of birds (highlights include papyrus gonolek, white-winged warbler, and great blue turaco).

The highlight of this tour is catching a glimpse of the great blue turaco. The swamp is also good for spotting butterflies and primates, with eight different species here, including grey-cheeked mangabey. The two to three hours guided walk is led by experienced local guides who interact with the guests and make the trip both enjoyable and exciting.

  • Overnight at Crater Safari Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 6: Kibale Forest National Park - Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast at your lodge, proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park, following the mystical Rwenzori Mountain Range. Your expert driver guide will take you through the game park where you might spot some animals.

Upon arriving at your lodge, you will enjoy a hot lunch and, later in the afternoon, take a unique two-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and the launch / cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching, and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colorful and stupendous, with well over 550 resident species.

  • Overnight at Parkview Safari Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park’s diverse eco-system of grassy plains, tropical forest, rivers, swamps, lakes, and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife.

Have an early morning game drive during which you have the opportunity to view the massive Rwenzori as a backdrop, which provides excellent conditions to spot lions, leopards, giant forest hogs, cape buffaloes, elephants, defassa waterbucks, Ugandan kobs, topis, and bushbucks.

The game drives and the prior boat trip are memorable methods of discovering a vast array of Ugandan wildlife. Be sure to have your camera at the ready for these amazing sightings!

In the afternoon, you will go for another game drive or optional visit to the bat and hunters cave at the extra fee of 30 USD per person, during which you will take a closer look at the bats, rock pythons, and forest cobras. The same walk will provide a chance of seeing birds, primates, tree species, etc. Return to the lodge for dinner and your last overnight stay.

  • Overnight at Parkview Safari Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

After your breakfast, pack up your bags and take a morning game drive through the Ishasha plains for your final visit with the lions and other wildlife, before heading out of Queen Elizabeth National Park and on to Bwindi.

The drive takes you through the Switzerland of Africa area, known as the Kigezi Highlands, with its terraced hillside and winding roads to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, arriving in the evening. Check into the lodge for dinner and your overnight stay.

  • Overnight at Gorilla Safari Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 9: Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After an early breakfast, depart to the starting point for a debriefing about your gorilla trekking adventure, after which you will be led by experienced gorilla trackers on the slopes of the volcanoes. You will start from the site where the gorillas were encountered the day before, and, from here, the gorilla tracking begins.

Although the hike can be physically demanding, the anticipation of this exciting experience ahead is amazing, and the beauty of the gorilla forest and its inhabitants is fascinating.

One of Africa’s major highlights is encountering these gentle apes. It is a humbling experience to stand just meters away from man’s distant cousins as they eat, rest, play, and bond with their young ones.

Follow the mountain gorillas as they range freely in the impenetrable forest, and discover their gorgeous natural habitat and the many species they share it with. You are allowed an hour with the gorillas before finally sloping down back to your lodge.

If your trek was relatively short, you may have a guided nature walk around the lodge and the surrounding communities in the evening at a supplement of 20 USD per person. Return to the lodge where you will enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers before getting a good night’s rest for tomorrow’s safari adventure.

  • Overnight at Gorilla Safari Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 10: Bwindi Forest - Lake Bunyonyi

After breakfast, drive to Lake Bunyonyi which has breathtaking scenery. Spend the night overlooking Uganda deepest lake, where you may try your hand at paddling at a dugout canoe or eating fresh water crayfish.

  • Overnight at Bunyonyi Safaris Resort (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 11: Lake Bunyonyi - Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast, at 8:00 a.m., you will travel to Lake Mburo National Park, the smallest national park in Uganda. Though small, it has a lot to offer. Centered on a series of swamp-fringed lakes, its bird life is very rich.

The green acacia woodland harbors wildlife like zebras, warthogs, elands, impalas, not to mention the lake itself, which is home to schools of hippos and crocodiles. Furthermore, Uganda Wildlife Authority recently brought 15 giraffes from Murchison falls to Lake Mburo.

You will arrive at the lodge in time for lunch. Later in the afternoon, at 4:00 p.m., enjoy a boat ride on Lake Mburo and get quite close to the crocs and hippos.

You may later opt for a game drive to the Kazuma Lookout to view the topography and surrounding communities as you encounter spectacular wildlife species at an extra fee of 20 USD per group, or have an afternoon horse back ride around the lodge at the extra fee of 90 USD per person for two hours.

  • Overnight at Rwaboko Rock (Breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 12: Lake Mburo National Park - Kampala

After breakfast, have a safari walk under the escort of an armed ranger. The Kopjes are particularly interesting with the camouflaged kilspringers and topis. Due to cattle herding in the area, it is amusing to see zebras grazing alongside the long horned Ankole cattle. It is exciting to approach wildlife at such close range.

Alternatively, you may choose to go for a mountain bike safari (on payment of a supplement of 20 USD per person for two hours) or have another optional horseback riding safari in the park (on payment of 90 USD per person for two hours).

Later, leisurely drive back to Kampala, with a stopover at the Equator where you will have an opportunity to stand in two hemispheres at the same time.

Take some photos, then enjoy another stopover at the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers where you will be able to watch the ceremonial drums being crafted using methods passed down through the generations, arriving in the afternoon. Depending on your departure time, go for a city tour and visit the craft markets before transferring to the airport to catch your flight back home.

Location

Food

During your stay, you will be provided with meals as indicated in the itinerary. Drinking water will also be offered.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

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)

  • Game drive to the Kazuma Lookout in Lake Mburo National Park to view the topography and surrounding communities as you encounter spectacular wildlife species at an extra fee of 20 USD per group, or have an afternoon horse back ride around the lodge at the extra fee of 90 USD per person for two hours
  • Hike the top of Murchison Falls at an extra fee of 15 USD per person, where you will have an amazing view of the falls
  • Kampala city tour with visit and hike of the Gadaffi Mosque Tower at an extra fee of 10 USD per person or visit the Kasubi Royal Tombs at an extra fee of 5 USD per person, together with the Bulange Mengo and Mengo Palace, each at an extra 5 USD per person
  • Visit to the bat and hunters cave in Queen Elizabeth National Park at the extra fee of 30 USD per person, during which you will take a closer look at the bats, rock pythons, and forest cobras
  • 1.5 hours rhino tracking experience in Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary at an extra fee of 45 USD per person

What's included

  • All activities (unless labeled as optional)
  • A professional driver / guide
  • Park fees (for non-residents)
  • Gorilla permits (one per person, non-resident)
  • Chimp permits (one per person, non-resident)
  • All transportation (unless labeled as optional)
  • Round-trip airport transfer
  • All taxes / VAT
  • Meals (as specified in the itinerary)
  • Drinking water (on all days)
  • 11 nights accommodation

What's not included

  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Government imposed increase of taxes and / or park fees
  • International flights
  • Personal items
  • Some meals (as specified in the itinerary)
  • Tips (10 USD per person per day recommended)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB). Transfers from and to this airport are included. Safari Hub 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 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
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