Primate Highlights of Uganda – 8 nights

gorilla-trackingThis primate and wildlife safari takes you to some of Uganda’s most spectacular national parks providing opportunities for face to face encounters with the enchanting mountain gorillas and our closest relatives, the chimps, as well as a host of other mammals and birds. Enjoy the beautiful Uganda scenery along the way including the Rwenzori Mountains and the Albertine Rift valley. This safari is perfect for nature lovers and you will surely leave with some treasured memories of time spent with so many primates and other wildlife.

 
OverviewFull itineraryOptions & ExtensionsPricesAccommodation & TransportTravel advice

Day 1 – Evening arrival at Entebbe International Airport
Day 2 – Transfer to Kibale Forest national park. Local nature walk
Day 3 – Chimpanzee tracking and swamp walk for primates & birds
Day 4 – Tour of the scenic crater lakes region. Transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park
Day 5 – Game drive around the park, visit the salt lakes and boat cruise on Kazinga Channel
Day 6 – Game drive, in search of tree-climbing lions, en route to Bwindi Impenetrable national park
Day 7- Gorilla tracking and community walk/ bird watching, if time allows
Day 8 – Transfer to Lake Mburo national park. Game drive for impala, eland, giraffe and zebra
Day 9 – Safari walk in the park, craft shopping at the Equator and return to Entebbe for your flight

tour-guide Day 1- Evening arrival at Entebbe International airport
Your guide will welcome you at the airport and be with you throughout your safari.You will spend your first night at a nearby guest house, tucked in a beautiful compound, in a quiet corner, of sleepy Entebbe.Accommodation: Airport Guest Hous
Kibale-Guest-Cottages Day 2 – Transfer to Kibale Forest national park
Today you will travel to Fort Portal town (5 hours) through stunning tea plantations and the lush green countryside of Uganda. You will stop for lunch, in this bustling old colonial town, nestling in the shadows of the Mountains of the Moon before proceeding to Kibale Guest Cottages where you can relax or stretch your legs on a local walk.Accommodation: Kibale Guest Cottages
chimp tracking Day 3 – Chimp tracking & swamp walk Join your group in Kibale Forest where you will track our closest relative, the chimpanzee. Walk through the tropical jungle until you find the family you are tracking, then spend an hour watching them groom, play and even mate. After lunch take a guided swamp walk at a community ecotourism project: home to a variety of bird species and primates including red, and black & white colobus monkeys; grey-cheeked mangabeys, vervet monkeys and more.

Accommodation: Kibale Guest Cottage

elephants Day 4 – Crater lakes region & transfer to Queen Elizabeth national park Enjoy a leisurely tour of the beautiful crater lakes region, created at the same time as the Rift Valley and the Rwenzori Mountains.Then continue south to Queen Elizabeth national park, Uganda’s second largest park, with over 95 mammal species and 600+ bird species. Spend the late afternoon relaxing at your lodge with beautiful views across Lake George. Look out for visiting animals like hippos, water buck and warthogs.

Accommodation: The Bush Lodge

boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel Day 5 – Game drive & boat cruise
6:00am after a light bite, a dawn game drive brings chances to catch up with the early risers like, elephant, buffalo and Uganda Kob; also keep your eyes peeled for lions and leopards. Return to the lodge for a full brunch, explore scenery like the salt lakes and after lunch and then take a relaxing boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel with opportunities to come close to hippos, bathing elephants, Nile crocodiles and colorful water birds.Accommodation: The Bush Lodge
ishasha-tree-climbing lions Day 6 – Ishasha sector to Bwindi Impenetrable national park
Travel to Ishasha, the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth national park, famous for the tree-climbing lions. Also look out for large herds of Topi Buffalo and Uganda Kob. After the game drive, continue your journey to Bwindi Impenetrable forest, home to the gentle forest giants: the mountain gorillas. Relax at your lodge in the evening as the sun sets over the forest.Accommodation: Engagi Lodge
mountain-gorillas Day 7- Gorilla tracking
07:30am Prepare yourself for an amazing encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas. Meet your group, guide and porters for a briefing then head into the forest for an experience to remember. Start tracking your gorilla family and, once you find them, spend an hour watching as they go about their normal daily activities: eating, grooming, playing and moving through the forest. After tracking, return to the lodge, visit the village or enjoy a spot of bird watching, depending on the time.Accommodation: Engagi Lodge
zebras Lake Mburo Day 8 – Transfer to Lake Mburo national park Travel to Lake Mburo, one of Uganda’s smallest national parks, approx. 4 hrs scenic drive away from Bwindi. This is the only park on your itinerary where you will find eland, zebra and impala and is the perfect place to unwind. Enjoy a late afternoon game drive and then relax at your lodge, located just at the park border, with great views across the park to the lake.

Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock

uganda-equator Day 9 – Safari walk & return to Entebbe
Make the most of your last morning in Uganda with a guided safari walk in the park, to bring you close to a range of animals and birds, as you enjoy the scenery.Then drive back to Entebbe with a stop at the Equator for photo moments and perhaps some craft shopping.Your guide will take you to the airport in plenty of time to check-in for your evening flight home and he will say farewell there, leaving you with some wonderful memories and looking forward to your next visit!

Any of the activities below can be swapped for activities in this itinerary or you can extend this itinerary to add any of them. This may involve additional costs. We will be pleased to advise you about options and extensions.

  • Chimpanzee habituation experience: spend a full day with the chimps
  • Lake Bunyonyi, the second deepest lake in Africa: birding, canoeing, mountain biking
  • Bird watching: more time in some of the places in this itinerary for bird watching
  • Semiliki national park: bird watching, hot springs
  • Batwa trail: experience pigmy culture on a forest walk with the “Forest Keepers”
  • Rwenzori mountains: Hiking in the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon (contact us for mountain climbing options)
  • Mgahinga national park: Home of Golden monkeys and spectacular birds
  • Kampala – see our Kampala activities pages
  • Day(s) trip to Jinja: white water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, horse riding, mountain biking, quad biking, boat to the Source of the Nile,

Guide price

USD 4,900 per person based on a group of 6 people traveling.

Price includes:

  • 1 gorilla & 1 chimp tracking permit each
  • A private 4×4 safari vehicle (with pop-up roof) with driver/guide & fuel for this itinerary
  • Full-board, mid-range, non-air conditioned accommodation
  • All entrance and other fees for the activities included in the itinerary
  • Mineral water in transit
  • All government taxes

Price does not include:

  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as bar bills, phone calls, laundry services, gifts, crafts & personal shopping
  • Tips and gratuities (normally 5-10% and around $100 for your guide).

Why do we use guide prices?
The price for every safari depends on the number of people traveling, their ages, the time of year, whether or not international flights are included, the type of transport and accommodation used and the activities undertaken.

We calculate according to the specific dates of your booking because after we publish our itineraries some things may change. For example, hotels may increase their prices, the government may introduce new taxes or some discounts may become available. Unfortunately, we also have to pass on surcharges imposed on us by, for example, airlines when fuel prices or airport taxes are unexpectedly increased.

We would be happy to prepare a quotation, based on your requirements. We normally include most costs in the price so all you need to bring with you is ‘pocket money’ for items like drinks, tips and personal shopping e.g. souvenirs.

Insurance

AMREF flying doctors provide a medevac service in case of illness or injury during your safari. This costs $25pp for 31 days. We recommend this service and can include it in your package price.

Booking

Once you have selected one of our safari packages you need to send us a booking form. When we receive this we will check availability and inform you if any changes are necessary and issue an invoice for a 50% deposit plus the full cost of any tracking permits (in case of cancellation permit fees are non-refundable). Only once this payment is received can we guarantee availability and issue a booking confirmation. Full payment is required 70 days before travel.

Payments and cancellation

We charge is US Dollars. Payment is by bank transfer into our Standard Chartered USD bank account in Uganda. You can also pay by credit card although there is a 5% administration charge. For those booking from within Uganda, cash payments are possible at our office.

When we book your safari, we have to pay non-refundable deposits on your behalf, for example to hotels. Therefore, we charge cancellation fees as follows:

30% of reservation costs if you cancel more than 50 days before your arrival date

100% of reservation costs if you cancel less than 50 days before your arrival date

We strongly recommend that you include cancellation cover in your travel insurance.

Disclaimer: We enter into an agreement with you in good faith but we sometimes encounter unexpected changes in local conditions which can affect your itinerary or price. These changes are beyond our control and we are not liable for them. While we endeavour to protect you against the effects of these changes, we reserve the right to amend the agreed itinerary and price in response to them. Such changes include but are not limited to weather conditions, road conditions, supplier price increases, fuel increases, government tax increases, supplier service changes e.g. cancellation of ferry services for river crossings or national park operations (track maintenance, animal translocations). We assure you that, we will always give you as much notice as possible of changes, suggest alternative plans and keep additional charges to a minimum.

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Accommodation

To help us select the right accommodation for your safari (and in the absence of a complete national hotel classification system e.g. 1* – 5*) we use four levels: high-end, mid-range, budget and backpackers. These terms can mean different things to different people but are helpful to an extent.

Air-conditioned rooms are not available in all hotels. Where AC is available, there is usually an extra charge.

Some locations have a limited choice of accommodation and so, to stay there, you must accept what is available. Where possible we prefer to work with responsible accommodation providers. This means hotels and lodges which are locally owned, employ local staff, support their community and protect the local environment.

  

 

Transport

As standard, we use a spacious 7-seater, 4×4 safari Land Cruiser, with pop-up roof, fridge and phone/camera charging facilities. This is the perfect safari vehicle.

        

Alternatively, we offer a slightly cheaper 7-seater, 4×4 safari van with a pop-up roof.

  

5 -seater versions of both Land Cruisers and vans are also available.

  

For large group tours we use small buses called Coasters. These usually seat around 28 people, including 5 jump (fold-down) seats in the aisle. They do not have a boot/trunk so luggage is carried on the back seats which reduces the seating capacity. The overhead luggage shelves are small and can only accommodate small bags. Therefore, we recommend you do not over pack.

All vehicles include a driver/guide and fuel for your itinerary. Additional activities, not included in your itinerary, may incur an additional fuel charge. Our vehicles are comprehensively insured, in good mechanical condition and have seat belts fitted. If your group has disabled members. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Please let us know if you have any special travel requirements for example, if your group has disabled members. We will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Flying safaris

A wide range of local airlines operate in Uganda and East Africa. If you prefer to avoid longer road journeys, are pushed for time or just love flying please ask us for advice about including domestic flights in your itinerary.

See our Responsible Tourism pages for information about our approach to tourism and advice on how to travel responsibly.

For general advice please see our travel advice web page

Specific advice for this safari

See our information about gorilla and chimp tracking and habituation experiences in our primates section

This safari can be done at any time of the year, however low season discounts are given for gorilla and chimp tracking in April & November.