104: Classic Uganda – Wildlife and Primates

Ref: 104, 12 days

104: Classic Uganda – Wildlife and Primates

$4760 per person

This comprehensive wildlife and primates safari takes you to a range of habitats where you will get the chance to encounter a host of wildlife and enjoy exquisite scenery.

Experience primate tracking through lush forests and spend time with Uganda’s mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. Visit the only site to view southern white rhino in the wild and learn about the conservation project which has restored them to Uganda.  Enjoy boat rides on some of the country’s most beautiful stretches of water. This classic safari is an excellent way to sample Uganda’s wildlife and primates, and vast, varied habitats.

 

Highlights

  • Go gorilla and chimpanzee tracking
  • Search for the Shoebill in swamps full of birdlife
  • Look out for tree-climbing lions
  • Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the only place in Uganda where you can track rhinos

 

Overview

Day 1: Evening arrival
Day 2: Rhino Sanctuary and Murchison Falls National Park
Day 3: Game drive. Nile River cruise to falls; hike to top of the falls
Day 4: Drive to Kibale National Park via Fort Portal
Day 5: Chimpanzee tracking (12 years+) and swamp walk for primates and birds
Day 6: Drive through the crater lakes region to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Game drive
Day 7: Game drive, then boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel
Day 8: Game drive in Ishasha. Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 9: Gorilla tracking (15 years+)
Day 10: Travel to Lake Mburo via Igongo cultural centre. Afternoon boat ride
Day 11: Nature walk and travel to Entebbe via the equator
Day 12: A boat ride through the swamp channels in search of Shoebill. Evening flight home

 

When is the best time of year to visit Uganda?

Although Ugandan seasons have become less predictable in recent years, peak tourist seasons usually coincide with dry seasons. When choosing your dates consider:

  • Uganda is an all-year round destination with a pleasant climate and temperatures averaging in the mid 20s0C. The huge variety in altitude means temperatures vary around the country (but this also means increased biodiversity)
  • Flight prices often increase in European/American holiday seasons
  • There are fewer tourists in low seasons so you can have the place to yourselves!
  • Many hotels offer all-year prices so the price of your visit may not change much between seasons
  • Most major roads going from the capital, Kampala, up-country are tarmac. Conditions on murram roads may worsen, to varying degrees, in rainy season
  • Rainy season can be good for birding as there is more food (bugs) available
  • If you are targeting certain birds, ask our advice on breeding and migration seasons
  • Should you plan to climb the Rwenzori mountains, dry seasons are best
  • Hiking may be better in rainy seasons when it is cooler

 

Please note

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.

 

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1
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.
Accommodation: The Boma Guest House - Entebbe Meal plan: D
2
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 in the evening, continue to Murchison Falls National Park.
Accommodation: Pakuba Safari Lodge- Murchison Falls National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
3
Day 3: Game drive and boat cruise on the River Nile
06:00 Dawn game drive in search for early risers including lions, elephants, buffalo and leopards. Then go on a boat cruise to the bottom of the Falls. Hike to the top of the Falls.
Accommodation: Pakuba Safari Lodge - Murchison Falls National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
4
Day 4: Drive to Kibale National Park via Fort Portal
Drive to Fort Portal for lunch, then travel to Kibale National Park enjoying the sights and sounds of Uganda along the way. Check in at your lodge.
Accommodation: Kibale Guest Cottages - Kibale National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
5
Day 5: Chimpanzee tracking and Bigodi Swamp walk
After an early morning briefing, go tracking chimpanzees in the forest. Once you find them, you can spend an hour with them, watching as they go about their daily activities. In the late afternoon, explore Bigodi Swamp and its variety of primates, plants and birds.
Accommodation: Kibale Guest Cottages - Kibale National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
6
Day 6: Drive through the crater lakes region to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Head towards Queen Elizabeth National Park via the beautiful and geologically fascinating crater lakes region. Take an evening game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park and make the most of the excellent wildlife-spotting opportunities.
Accommodation: Ihamba Safari Lodge - Queen Elizabeth National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
7
Day 7: Game drive and launch cruise on the Kazinga Channel
Enjoy a dawn game drive in search of lions, elephants, buffaloes and leopards. 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.
Accommodation: Ihamba Safari Lodge - Queen Elizabeth National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
8
Day 8: Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via Ishasha
After a two-hour drive, you will reach Ishasha, home of the famous tree-climbing lions. Go in search of them, and large herds of various antelope, on a game drive. After lunch, continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Accommodation: Engagi Lodge - Bwindi Impenetrable forest Meal plan: B, L, D
9
Day 9: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
After an early morning briefing, you will trek into the forest with your group in search of a family of gorillas. Once found, you can watch the gorillas for one magical hour as they eat, play, groom and sleep.
Accommodation: Engagi Lodge - Bwindi Impenetrable forest Meal plan: B, L, D
10
Day 10: Travel to Lake Mburo and take a boat ride
Drive to Lake Mburo National Park, via Igongo Cultural Centre to learn the history of the Ankole Kingdom. Here you will enjoy a local Banyankole cultural meal. After lunch, drive to the Park and go for a boat ride.
Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock – Lake Mburo National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
11
Day 11: Safari walk and travel to Entebbe via the equator
Start your day with a guided nature walk for about two hours amongst animal wildlife including impalas and Defassa waterbuck. Keep a look out for the newly introduced Rothschild’s giraffe. After lunch, travel to Entebbe passing across the equator.
Accommodation: The Boma Guest House - Entebbe Meal plan:  B, L, D
12
Day 12: Visit Mabamba Swamp and fly home
Drive to the Mabamba wetlands, one of Uganda’s 12 RAMSAR sites. Take a boat ride on this extensive marsh, towards the main section of Lake Victoria. Look out for the globally threatened and iconic Shoebill. Return to visit the craft village for souvenirs. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Meals: B, L
Please note: all timings and routings are approximate and subject to change at short notice.

Guide price: US$ 4,760 per person

Based on 2 adults sharing a double room, in mid-range accommodation, in low season and travelling in a safari Land Cruiser (all our safaris and tours can be adapted to high-end, mid-range or budget versions)

 

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, exchange rates fluctuate, 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.

Price includes

1 gorilla tracking permit each

A double room in mid-range, non-air-conditioned accommodation with a full board meal plan

Private safari vehicle with 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 $10 per day for your guide).