12 days: Wildlife & Primates

This comprehensive safari will take you to a range of habitats where you will get the chance to encounter a host of wildlife. Spend time with Uganda’s gorillas and chimpanzees, track the southern white rhino and enjoy boat rides on some of the most breath-taking bodies of water. An excellent way to sample Uganda’s vast habitats and wildlife.

HighlightsItineraryOptions & extensionsGuide priceAccommodation & TransportTravel advice
  • Go gorilla and chimpanzee tracking
  • Search for the Shoebill in local swamps
  • Look out for tree-climbing lions
  • Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the only place in Uganda where you can track rhinos
Day 1: Arrive at Entebbe
Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be met by your guide who will take you to your hotel.

Day 2: Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and travel to Murchison Falls National Park
Drive to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will go on a guided rhino tracking safari. Have lunch and continue to Murchison Falls National Park. Check into your lodge and relax
Day 3: Game drive and boat cruise on the River Nile
Take the first ferry to the northern sector of the Park for a game drive. Then go on a boat cruise to the bottom of the Falls. Hike to the top of the Falls.
Day 4: Drive to Kibale National Park via Fort Portal
Drive to Fort Portal for lunch, then travel to Kibale National Park and check in at your lodge.
Day 5: Chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi Swamp walk
After an early morning briefing, track chimpanzees in the forest. You can spend an hour with them, watching their daily activities. In the evening, explore Bigodi Swamp and its variety of primates, plants and birds.
Day 6: Drive through the crater lakes region to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Head towards Queen Elizabeth national park via the geologically fascinating crater lakes region. Take an evening game drive in the Park for some excellent wildlife-spotting opportunities.
Day 7: Game drive and launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel
Enjoy an early dawn game drive in search of lions, elephants, buffaloes and leopard. Visit the nearby salt lake before heading to Mweya Peninsula for lunch. Take a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, known for its high concentration of hippos.
Day 8: Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via Ishasha
After a two-hour drive, you will reach Ishasha in search of the famous tree-climbing lions. After lunch, continue to Bwindi Impenetrable national park.
Day 9: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
After an early morning briefing, you will trek trails with your group. You may watch the gorillas for one hour as they eat, play, groom and sleep.
Day 10: Travel to Lake Mburo and take a boat ride
Drive to Lake Mburo National Park stopping at Igongo Cultural Center for a local meal. After lunch, drive to the park and go for a boat ride.
Day 11: Safari walk and travel to Entebbe via the equator
Start your day with a guided nature walk, as you walk for about two hours among animals including impalas and zebra. Keep a look-out for the newly introduced Rothschild’s giraffe. After lunch, travel to Entebbe passing across the equator.
  Day 12: Visit Mabamba Swamp and fly home
Drive to Mabamba swamp wetlands, one of Uganda’s 12 Ramsar sites. Take a boat ride on this extensive marsh, towards the main body of Lake Victoria. Look out for the globally threatened Shoebill. Return to visit the craft village for souvenirs. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Wildlife sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Responsible tourism: where possible, we use locally owned accommodation with good environmental credentials.

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.

  1. Cultural visits in Bigodi
  2. Katwe salt lakes near Queen Elizabeth national park
  3. Lion, mongoose research experiences or bird and hippo counts in Queen Elizabeth national park
  4. Cultural dance perfomances
  5. Bird watching and village walks in Bwindi Impenetrable national park
  6. Mountain bike safari in Lake Mburo national park
  7. Entebbe or Kampala activities

Please see our activities & experiences page for more information.

Guide price: USD 4,540 per person, based on 2 people travelling.

Price includes:

  • 1 gorilla & 1 chimp tracking permit each
  • Full-board, mid-range, non air-conditioned accommodation
  • Private safari vehicle with a driver and fuel for this itinerary
  • 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: alcohol, laundry services and souvenirs
  • Tips (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 travelling, 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 in 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.

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Transport

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

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

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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.

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.

Fly-in safaris

Fancy a fly-in safari, hopping from one location to another by small plane? Or save time by travelling to one of the farther destinations on your itinerary by air instead of road? Domestic flights are available to a variety of locations in Uganda so you can visit all or some of the places in your itinerary by plane, enjoying stunning aerial views of the countryside and wildlife below.

Scheduled and charter flights are available. Scheduled flights have some limitations in terms of routings and days of operation and in some cases minimum numbers are required. We will be pleased to advise you if you wish to fly.

Note: The luggage limit on small aircraft is 15kg per person, including both hand and hold luggage.  This must be in soft bags not hard suitcases.

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 webpage.

Specific advice for this safari

Permits are required to track gorillas. The minimum ages is 15 years.  Gorilla permits are limited to eight people per gorilla family. Permits are also required to track chimps and the minimum age is 12 years.

Please read the information about primate tracking on our primates web page and remember to look at our suggested packing list.