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7 Days Wildlife Safari & Gorilla Adventure - Uganda

This 7-day Wildlife Safari & Gorilla Adventure gives you a chance to have an all day experience with the Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Game drives at Queen Elizabeth National Park, Sightseeing at Lake Bunyonyi and amazing Boat Cruise safari on Kazinga Channel.

Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices: $1890 - $3300
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 7 days
Best months: All year
Countries visited: Uganda Uganda
Parks visited: Bwindi Impenetrable, Kibale, Queen Elizabeth
Activity level: Very Active - Trekking, mountain biking, kayaking
Safari type:
  • Cultural
  • Birding
  • Boating
Highlights • Thrilling primate watching. • Chimpanzees forest walk in the Kibale. • Lake Bunyonyi & visiting traditional healer. • Game & birdlife on Kazinga Channel cruise. • Basket weaving experience. • Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Need to Know You might want to drive by road (4-5 hours) and depart from Kigali airport (Rwanda). The choice is all yours. Please inform tour consultant at the time of booking your preferred the option. At the time of booking in the event that the listed hotel is fully booked or room unavailable, we will do our best to inform you and book a similar hotel of the same class available.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Fort Portal - Crater Walk

Today we start our Gorillas & Chimps Safari with breakfast at 7.00 am and later our guide will pick you from your hotel in Kampala or Entebbe, transfer early morning to Fort portal; you pass through traditional Ugandan villages where you see native people in their farmlands. The lush green rolling hills will end up into viewing Uganda’s expansive tea plantations offering you great photo opportunities. Check in at lodge, lunch afternoon Crater walk to crater area. Explore this scenic walking route, a chance to see three crater lakes in one spot. This region (1814km2) has 52 crater lakes, ranked with the highest biodiversity in Africa.

Day 2: Kiblae Forest National Park - Swamp Walk & Chimp Tracking

Today we transfer to Kibale Forest National Park – Kanyanchu gate. Kibale National park is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. It is inhabited by three large “communities” of chimps, with over 120 individuals. Only one community is allowed to be visited by tourists.

In Kibale, here you will find one of the largest populations of chimpanzees in Africa – about 1450 individuals. Today you will do Chimpanzee ‘tracking’. This activity can take between 4 to 5 hours.

Remember to carry water, rain gear, and walking/hiking boots plus backpack. It will be perfect opportunity to listen to the chimps as the grumble and feed. Only one community is allowed to be visited by tourists. Chimpanzees live in communities. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against other male intruders; the females usually wander in small family groups. Rangers locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, following their eating trails.

There are chances of seeing other primates namely; the Guereza colobus monkey, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, and olive baboons as well as the red colobus monkey considered Endangered and the rare L’Hoest’s monkey that are considered Vulnerable and…plentiful of forest bird life.

After lunch, at 4pm, you head out to Bigodi wetland sanctuary for a primate swamp walk (2 hours). The wetland sanctuary is an authentic eco tourism initiative of how the community co exists harmoniously with a habitat of over 50 bird species including Great Blue Turaco, and 8 primate species. Look out for grey cheeked mangabeys, Columbus monkeys, red tailed monkeys among others. After, transfer back to the lodge.

Optional activity: Chimpanzee ‘habituation’ experience.

You can do chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the usual chimpanzee tracking at an additional fee of only $50 US per person,. Chimpanzees live in communities. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against other male intruders; the females usually wander in small family groups. Rangers locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, following their eating trails. This gives you a chance to observe them as they feed in fruiting trees, and socialize with each other. On a lucky day people have witnessed chimpanzees hunting. You will have very close encounter with these chimps.

Please note that it’s important to book this ahead of time because only 6 persons per day are permitted to experience this. In the event that one decides on going for habituation, it is possible to go on swamp sanctuary walk the next morning before heading to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

 

Day 3: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Experience tea harvesting early morning, have lunch and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park, check in at lodge. Enroute, stop at Rubona baskets makers, a chance to learn how to make baskets from natural material in beautiful colors. Make a stop over the Equator- experience being in south and north hemisphere at once. Transfer to the lodge.

 

Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park - Game Drive & Boat Cruise

Today at 6.30am, your guide will pick you from your lodge and set off for morning game drive. A little before sunrise coffee, will be served in the lounge before we head out for a long game drive. Look out for early morning sunrise. You will search for wildlife in the park. Look out for Elephants, Buffalo, Lion, Waterbuck, Leopard, Uganda Kob, and many Warthogs. At 2pm head out on a boat cruise safari tour on Kazinga channel.

This is probably the most amazing combination of spectacular water birds (residents and migrants) teaming with wildlife on Kazinga channel. Along the channel, local people are seen loading their canoes, fetching water as buffalos wallowing, Elephants shower, and Hippos roam around, crocodiles basking on the same banks. Incredible life at the fishing village; Tones of storks, spoonbills, cormorants, kingfishers, lap wigs, pelicans. You can expect to see buffalo, crocodile, bathing elephant, and a range of beautiful birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour complimenting wildlife seen on game drive.

Queen Elizabeth National park is Uganda’s second largest park, located at the base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain range, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George. The park has game including Uganda kob, warthog and waterbuck, Lions elephants.

 Either Evening relax at the lodge or do an optional activity…

Optional activity 1: Lion predator tracking:

For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African animals, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of lions in the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior. The results are added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology – and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. This will as well gives you a 95% chance to see the lions!

The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors. Experiential tours lasts between one and three hours. They usually take place in the early morning or evening. All activities must be booked through the Visitor Information Centre in Mweya at least 24 hours in advance. This Cost: $85 USD per person.

Optional activity 2: Chimpanzee trekking, Kalinzu Forest.

Kalinzu forest is an eastern extension of the Maramagambo Forest found near Queen Elizabeth National Park in the southwestern area of Uganda. Kalinzu Forest Reserve is home to less than 300 Chimpanzees in an area of 137 km2 and other primates. The forest is traversed by a number of scenic trails along the ridges and valleys of the Rift Valley Escarpment. Tour Cost: $50 USD per person

Optional activity 3: Salt lake tour

At 4pm we have the option of driving to Lake Katwe salt Crater Lake. This unusual Crater Lake; – too salty to support any wildlife – but has since the 16th Century ensured the survival of village community, who spend their days under the sun, harvesting salt from its milky waters. This tour gives you a unique insight into the fascinating yet tough process of salt mining, as well as providing an alternative income for people. on the tour you will see local community at work, cross the mud walkways with lots of traditional grass huts, used as shelter.

Tour Cost: $25 USD per person

 

Optional activity 4: second Chimpanzee tracking at Kalinzu forest.

6.45am, depart for Kalinzu forest reserve arriving between at 8am. Here you will go for a forest walk in search for chimpanzees. Along the walk there are high chances seeing other primates like baboons, black and white Colobus and red-tailed monkey. On a lucky day you can see the rare pygmy antelope. The walk can take as low as 2 hours to as high as 6 hours.

You will carry along with you picnic/packed lunch. After chimp trekking, drive back to the lodge. This costs $50 USD per person

 

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi National Park

Today we do transfer to Bwindi impenetrable national park, through Ishasha south section in Queen Elizabeth – This is home to tree climbing lions. There are chances of seeing lions in the trees. Please note that there is no guarantee but our guide will maximize all regular hot spots to increase chances of sighting lions. After, you will proceed to Bwindi.

Please note the choice of lodging will be determined by location of Gorilla family available at time of booking!

Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park is about 330kms2, with spectacular scenery, impressive forest views. The whole geographical scenery is basically hilly and mountainous. At an elevation between 1160 to 2607m (3806 to 8553ft) rains can shower anytime in Bwindi forest, it is recommended that visitors pack rain wear, waterproof clothing and appropriate hiking shoes to wear on during gorilla tracking or forest walks. Daytime temperatures range from 23C/73F to 11C/52F.

 

Bwindi national park has over 400 gorillas, half of the number remaining in the world. There are 15 gorilla families which have been habituated for gorilla viewing, all of which can be accessed from specific locations/sectors of the forest. 8 people are permitted to view a single family per day. To trek gorillas you need a gorilla permit/license. Gorilla licenses are booked by location not by the name of a gorilla family. There are 4 starting gates namely; in North at BUHOMA, in the East at RUHIJA and in the South at RUSHAGA & South West at NKURINGO

Optional activity: Village Walk:

Overlooking the imposing hillsides of Bwindi Impenetrable forest, with the mist swirling over the summits, this is one of the most dramatic settings for your cultural tour! Among others, meet the pygmies ‘batwa’ people one of the original natives of the forest, learn their indigenous hunting and fire making skills. Costs: $20 USD per person.

 

Day 6: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Gorilla Trecking + Lake Bunyonyi Relax

Today breakfast at 7am, gather packed lunch (the lodge will arrange that) and 7.30am our guide will transfer you to park gate for gorilla-trek debrief which starts at 8:00 am. Start gorilla trekking thereafter. The time taken to track gorillas varies, from as little as half an hour to as much as 10 hours before one returns to lodge.

The activity can be both hard and soft adventure. Altitude spans 1,160 to 2,407m. The terrain is sometimes tough, although the hike is physically demanding; the panoramic scenery and forest make the trekking worthwhile. Finally seeing these gentle giants is an exciting wildlife encounter Uganda has to offer. It can rain at any minute’s notice; hence waterproof clothing is essential including ZIP bags for cameras.

After trekking, our driver/guide will transfer you (2 hours) to Lake Bunyonyi for a relaxed evening.

Optional activities at Lake Bunyonyi

  • Boat ride to punishment island and traditional healer’s village, costs $40 USD per person. Time permitting take a boat ride (one hour) visit the traditional healers village by the lake. The healer not only treats the sick, but uses his knowledge to conserve and educate about the various medicinal plants if time and weather isn’t favoring, please note that you have the option of visiting traditional healer the next morning, before departure.
  • Hiking to view islands of lake Bunyonyi ($10 USD) per person
  • Self canoeing, ($5 USD) depends one skill
  • Guided Canoeing, ($18 USD) takes 1 hour.
  • High ropes course and zip lining, ($30) per person, takes 1.5 to 2hrs

 

Day 7: Transfer back to Entebbe

Optional activity: Early morning guided bird watching.

Learn about common bird species of Lake Bunyonyi with a local guide. ($20 per person)

Lake Bunyonyi is a known to be a place of so many little small birds. It’s possible to have an early morning guided bird watching before departure.

  • After breakfast, our guide will transfer you back to Entebbe. Lunch stop en-route; stop at the Equator for some photo moment.

 

Important

To go on a gorilla trek, you need a gorilla permit/license which we can arrange for you.  We can only purchase your Gorilla permit after you have made a down-payment to us. Gorilla permits are competitive on a daily basis, advance booking is always preferred.

Please note the gorilla tracking in this itinerary can be done in Bwindi and or Mgahinga national parks. Gorilla tracking is dependent on the permits availability at the time of your booking. Gorilla permits in all parks are on a very high demand and we advise that you book them as early as possible.

  • Gorilla trekking can be strenuous activity and Minimum gorilla tracking age is 15 years.
  • What to bring: Hiking shoes/walking shoes, long socks to tuck-in long pants , rain wear, warm clothing, evenings can be cold/chilly, gloves preferably gardening type are very helpful and  insect repellant.
  • Anyone with signs of communicable diseases will NOT be allowed to track.
  • While possession of a gorilla permit is a guarantee of trekking and
  • Maximum time allowed with the gorillas will NOT exceed ONE hour, you are kindly requested to practice different modes of using your camera in different light situations. Gorillas can sometimes be moving, Forest vegetation can at times obstruct visibility, and hence taking photos of these creatures can be very challenging!

Transport:
Our standard offering is a 4WD with pop-up roof for easy safari viewing.  All passengers will have a dedicated window seat. Your driver/guide will be at your disposal for questions.

 

Extension:
If you want to extend your tour to one of our other destinations or if you’d like to add a few side trips to the itinerary, kindly let us know.

 

Difficulty:
Gorilla trekking takes place at altitudes 1160 to 2607m (3806 to 8553ft) above sea level. This means that moderate/average physical fitness is required. The slowest member will determine the groups’ speed. The pace will be moderate, with plenty stops to rest, ask questions, re-hydrate and enjoy the forest and views.

 

Booking and payment details:

Once you have decided to join one of our safaris, you will need  to contact us for booking form  which will include details relating to deposit and final payments etc.

                                                                                                                         

Trip Price Includes:

  • Meet and greet at Airport, Airport pick up and drop off
  • Accommodations with meals as mentioned on itinerary ( Breakfast & Dinner)
  • 1 Chimpanzee permit fee ($150)
  • 1 gorilla permit (per persom)
  • 1 liter of Bottled water per person per day in the car
  • 4×4 custom built safari vehicle with gas (Toyota Hiace Van or similar) with knowledgeable +English speaking driver/guide
  • Entrance fees to parks

 

Trip Price excludes:

  • International flights.
  • Hotel on arrival date in Kampala and departure date in Entebbe
  • Visa fees
  • All optional activities mentioned on itinerary
  • Travel Insurances
  • Meals not mentioned on itinerary and beverages, meals on arrival & departure dates
  • Tips and personal expenses such as laundry and communication
  • All drinks and personal entertainment
  • 1 boat ride on kazinga channel, 1 game drive in kasenyi and Ishasha area

 

 

 

Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.

  • * Kibale Forest Camp
  • * Bush Lodge
  • * Mazike Lodge
  • * Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge
  • * Birds Nest @ Bunyonyi
Chimpanzee in Kibale Forest National ...
Chimpanzee in Kibale Forest National Park by Chigo Tours Africa
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Boat cruise on the kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park by Chigo Tours Africa
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Canoeing on one of the deepest lake in the world, Lake Bunyonyi by Chigo Tours Africa
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