104: CLASSIC GORILLAS AND WILDLIFE SAFARI

Ref: 104, 9 days

104: CLASSIC GORILLAS AND WILDLIFE SAFARI

$4980 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.

Uganda – the Pearl of Africa – is a wonder, from the diversity of wildlife to her friendly people and stunning landscapes. This safari will show you the best of Uganda including memorable jungle experiences with the endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, fabulous game drives and nature walks, boat cruises on some of the most amazing bodies of water and glorious sight-seeing. Staying in some beautiful accommodation, this safari offers an excellent introduction to the highlights of this overlooked country.

 

Highlights

  • Go gorilla and chimpanzee tracking
  • Excellent game viewing opportunities including tree-climbing lions
  • Guided walks in national parks and local villages

 

Overview

Day 1: Evening arrival at Entebbe International airport
Day 2: Drive to Fort Portal, towards Kibale National Park. Guided swamp walk
Day 3: Chimp tracking (12 years+). Queen Elizabeth National Park. Visit a conservation project
Day 4: Lion tracking and boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel
Day 5: Explore the famous Ishasha sector – Queen Elizabeth
Day 6: Game drive in Ishasha. Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 7: Gorilla tracking experience (15 years+). Village walk
Day 8: Travel to Lake Mburo via Igongo cultural centre. Afternoon game drive
Day 9: Nature walk and travel to Entebbe via the Equator. 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: Evening arrival at Entebbe International Airport
Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be met by your guide who will take you to your hotel in Kampala. S/He will be your guide throughout this safari. A meal is available, at the hotel, up to 22:00pm.
Accommodation: Cassia Lodge - Kampala Meal plan: D
2
Day 2: Drive to Fort Portal, towards Kibale National Park
07:30 Depart Kampala and travel to Fort Portal (approx. 5 hours). The route is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterises so much of Uganda.  In the afternoon, explore Bigodi swamp, a community initiative to protect the environment and wildlife. The swamp is home to a number of monkey species, plants and birds.
Accommodation: Papaya Lake Lodge Fort Portal – Kibale Meal plan: B, L, D
3
Day 3: Chimpanzee tracking. Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP. Visit a conservation project
08:00 After an early morning briefing, your wildlife ranger will lead you on a trek in the forest, tracking your chimp family. Once you find them, spend an hour in their company. In the afternoon, drive (approx. 2.5 hours) via the scenic crater lakes region to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Relax in your lodge and enjoy the beautiful landscape and peaceful surroundings. Spend an evening with the local people and ex-poachers now protecting wildlife and support the local communities around the park.
Accommodation:Mazike Valley Lodge - Queen Elizabeth National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
4
Day 4: Lion tracking and afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel
Today provides another outstanding wildlife experience as you spend 2-3 hours with the lion researchers. Participate in their activities on the day which may include monitoring species, climate and habitat, learning about tracking and about the animals. After your lunch, take a 2-hour boat cruise on the majestic Kazinga Channel known for its high concentration of hippos. Look out for animals by the shores and many colourful birds. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of this park.
Accommodation: Mazike Valley Lodge - Queen Elizabeth National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
5
Day 5: Explore the famous Ishasha sector – Queen Elizabeth
This morning you take a 2-hour safari drive to Ishasha sector for a game drive in search of the famous tree-climbing lions. The sector has got a rich biodiversity and is home to a host of wildlife such as buffalos, different species of antelopes and birds. Take the mid-morning and afternoon exploring and reaching wide and far for game.
Accommodation:Ishasha Jungle Lodge – Queen Elizabeth National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
6
Day 6: Game drive. Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Take another game drive this morning, game viewing. Later, continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park home of the endangered mountain gorillas and also a UNESCO world heritage site approx. 2 hours away.
Accommodation:Engagi Lodge – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
7
Day 7: Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The big day is here! Join your group for a briefing from your ranger at 07:30. Thereafter, with your guide, enjoy the jungle walk to locate your gorilla family (taking, on average, 3 to 8 hours in total). Once with them, you are allowed to watch the gorillas for one hour as they eat, play, groom, swing and sleep. Afterwards, have a relaxed community walk if time allows.
Accommodation:Engagi Lodge – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
8
Day 8: Transfer to Lake Mburo and go for a game drive in the afternoon
08:00. Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park (approx. 4-5 hours) stopping at Igongo Cultural Centre for a local lunch and a quick peep in the cultural museum. Continue to the park (approx. 1.5 hrs). Check in at your lodge, perched high up on a rock with spectacular views over the vast savannah landscape. Later, go for a late afternoon game drive in search of game including giraffe, zebra, eland, waterbuck and more.
Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock – Lake Mburo National Park Meal plan: B, L, D
9
Day 9: Safari walk and travel to Entebbe via the Equator
07:00 Start your day with a 2-hour guided nature walk among animals such as impalas, giraffe and zebra and beautiful birds. 10:00 transfer to Entebbe passing by the Equator, stopping to stretch your legs and enjoy photo moments. Relax in Entebbe until it is time for your guide to take you to the airport for your flight home.
Meal plan: B, L,D

Guide price: from US$ 4,980 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 & 1 chimp 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).