12-Day Uganda gorilla trekking, Primates & Wildlife Tour

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Uganda gorilla
Image by Gabriel Gach from Pixabay

Highlights

  • Gorilla trekking Uganda in Bwindi forest
  • Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale forest
  • Track Rhinos on foot
  • Spot the Big 5 & Big Cats
  • Unlimited game drives
  • Boat ride on kazinga Channel
  • Boat cruise on the Nile River
  • Visit Murchison Falls National Park
  • Visit Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Visit Lake Mburo National Park
  • Search for tree-climbing lions
  • Visit Lake Bunyonyi
  • Search for shoebill at Mabamba Swamp.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe Airport – Transfer to your hotel

Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be transferred to your booked accommodation (Entebbe).

Hotel: Lake Heights Hotel

Day 2: Entebbe to Murchison Falls National Park

After your early morning breakfast drive northwest to Murchison Falls National Park via the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will have an opportunity to trek Rhinos. There are 15 Rhinos which were reintroduced after their extinction in the 1970s through poaching.

A local ranger guide will lead you on foot to an up-close encounter with the rhinos and it may take about 1 and half hours. Proceed to Masindi Town for lunch and later continue to Murchison Falls National Park arriving at your lodge late afternoon.

Meal plan: Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Fort Murchison

Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park – Game drive & Boat Cruise

Arise very early in the morning for your game drive on the northern bank of the River Nile in your open-roof vehicle which will give you an excellent opportunity to view and photograph the diverse wildlife. Your guide will help you spot elephant,lion, cape buffalo, Roth child’s giraffe, hartebeest, waterbuck, oribi, bushbuck, bohor reed buck, hyena and if you are lucky, the leopard.

After lunch, go for a boat cruise upstream the calm Victoria Nile to the base of the falls stopping just few of meters from the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’, marvel at the schools of hippos, crocodiles and over the 17km stretch you may see elephant, waterbuck and Uganda Kob.

This is also the zone of many birds, species like goliath heron, Egyptian goose, pelicanbee-eater, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork. After taking shorts of the photogenic Murchison Falls, you may choose to continue to the top of the falls, where you will have the amazing view of the falls!

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Fort Murchison

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4: Murchison Falls to Kibale Forest National Park

After your morning breakfast, begin your journey to Kibale Forest National Park. Drive south via Hoima to Fort Portal through verdant countryside passing through traditional homesteads, farms and Tea Estates. You will have a stopover for lunch en-route. You will arrive at you lodge in the late afternoon. Check in at your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 5: Chimp tracking Kibale Forest and (afternoon) explore the Kibale crater lakes

Have breakfast and head to the rangers’ post where you will receive some briefing on the dos and don’ts during chimp trekking. Thereafter, you will proceed to trek the chimps in the Kibale Forest. An experienced ranger guide will take you chimp tracking (Kibale Forest) and the presence of primates here will surely amaze you. Once you locate the chimpanzees, you will have a full hour in their presence.

Later (after lunch), proceed to explore the crater lakes, crowned with a hike to the “top of the world”. You will enjoy the beauty of the numerous small lakes, surrounded by gentle hills, and the stunning views. Take a hike to Lake Nkuruba where you will encounter different species of primates and birds. Meet and interact with the local people as you walk through their villages and enjoy the panoramic views of the Kibale.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

Day 6: Kibale Forest to Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast at your lodge before you proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park following the mystical Rwenzori Mountain Range. Your expert driver guide will take you through the game park where you might spot some animals.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Irungu Forest Lodge

 

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth National Park – Game drive and Boat cruise

After a cup of coffee, begin the day with a game drive in the Kasenyi plains that may lead you to see bush buck, Uganda Kob, topi, Defassa waterbuck, and Cape buffaloes, Lions, elephants and many more.

You will later return at the lodge for a late breakfast, relax as you wait for lunch. In the afternoon, you will enjoy an afternoon boat ride along the Kazinga Channel for a wide view of yawning hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, various bird species such as red chest, papyrus Gonolek, pink backed pelicans, malachite kingfishers, yellow crown, water thick-knee, yellow-billed stork, shoe bill stock among others. Return at the lodge for dinner and overnight stay at your booked lodge.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Irungu Forest Lodge

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park to Bwindi impenetrable Forest

Have breakfast then set off for Bwindi NP through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park – famously known for its resident tree-climbing lions. The chance of spotting these lions is about 70% though sometimes they are really hard to spot (most especially when they’re down in the grassland looking for prey).

Hoping you get the chance to spot them, the sight will be spectacular! Continue to Bwindi National Park. Bwindi is a big habitat for mountain gorillas in Uganda; harboring an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked on 9 days Uganda gorilla trekking safari & primates.

Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. With a strenuous day ahead, you will do less on arrival but just check in your accommodation, relax as you prepare for the Bwindi gorilla trekking experience the following day.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Bakiga Lodge

 

Day 9: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest & Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

After an early breakfast depart to the starting point for briefing about your gorilla trekking Uganda adventure after which you will be led by experienced gorilla trackers on the slopes of the volcanoes. You will start from the site where the gorillas were encountered the day before and from here the gorilla tracking begins. Although the hike can be physically demanding, the anticipation of the exciting experience ahead is amazing, and the beauty of the gorilla forest and its inhabitants are fascinating. It is a humbling experience to stand just meters from man’s distant cousins as they eat rest, play and bond with their young ones.

Follow the mountain gorillas in the impenetrable forest, and discover their natural habitual and the many species they share it with. You are allowed an hour with the gorillas before sloping down back to your lodge.

Later transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort

Day 10: Explore Lake Bunyonyi on a canoe ride, interact with the community

After breakfast, you will have the option of visiting and interacting with the local community who inhabit areas surrounding Lake Bunyonyi.

Alternatively, you could opt for a canoe trek on Lake Bunyonyi which will introduce you to the major islands and their rich history but also there will be some great time spent in the traditional dugout canoe. Return to your accommodation for lunch and relaxation probably reflecting on your trip so far.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Lake Bunyonyi Lake Resort

 

Day 11: Transfer from Lake Bunyonyi to Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast transfer to Lake Mburo, the ‘Zebra magnet’. Leave Lake Bunyonyi and continue driving through the hilly areas. Arrive in the park and have lunch at the lodge before heading for an afternoon game drive for view of Zebras, Topis, Warthogs, cape buffaloes and impalas.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Lodge: Rwakobo Rock

 

Day 12: Lake Mburo National Park to Mabamba Swamp to search for the Shoebill

After morning breakfast, park your bags and you will be driven to Mabamba Swamp to search for the Shoebill.

This is done in a motorized traditional canoe as we search for the Shoebill wading through the overgrown papyrus. A site guide from Mabamba area will join the team to advice on the possible location of the different special bird species in this area.

Later transfer back to Entebbe for your flight back home.

Meal plan: Breakfast & Lunch