Highlights: Kampala, Kibale National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Bunyonyi
Activities: Gorilla and chimp trekking, wildlife, bird watching, boat cruise, Equator photography, scenic journeys, and ghetto slum tours
8 Days Uganda Gorillas, Chimps & wildlife itinerary breakdown
- Day 1: Transfer to Kibale National Park
- Day 2: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi wetland visit
- Day 3: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Day 4: Chimp Tracking in Kyambura Gorge (Valley of Apes) and Transfer to Bwindi
- Day 5: Gorilla Tracking and Batwa Cultural Trail
- Day 6: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
- Day 7: Departure and Transfer to Kampala
- Day 8: Explore Kampala- historic places, slum tours
Day 1: Transfer to Kibale national Park
After breakfast drive through Mityana Road to a top destination for tracking wild chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park. The journey is approximately 4 -5 hours with lunch en-route in Fort Portal town. Stop over at the Toro Kingdom palace, the Royal tombs, the numerous shops and the mosque before Proceeding to Kibale forest arriving in the afternoon / evening. On arrival, you will check into your accommodation and have a primate walk to Kanyanchu river camp. This walk will take you through a diversity of flora zones and unveils a number of wild animals along the way living inside the forest.
Head back for dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: Luxury: Ndali Lodge, Mid-range: Primate Lodge, Budget: Kibale Forest camp – Meal plan: Dinner.
Day 2: Chimpanzee trekking and Bigodi wetland visit
After Breakfast, you will go to the park headquarters for briefing about Chimpanzee tracking rules and regulations and later go for chimpanzee Habituation Experience (with the ranger guides) in the forest with a packed lunch. You will meet chimpanzees and other primates include Gray-cheeked Mangabey, the L’Hoest’s, Red Colobus, Olive Baboon, Red-tailed, and many others. Other animals include forest elephants unique from the common type and giant forest hogs.
You will take a lot more photos and get to learn to identify the chimpanzees as individuals by their markings, scars and other unique features that differentiate them from others. The guides will educate you on the different tree species in Kibale forest as you follow the noisy calls of the elusive primates.
Butterflies and Birding in the forest is also very rewarding and you could encounter White-naped Pigeon, African Gray Parrot, Black Bee-eater, Hairy-breasted, Yellow Spotted and Yellow Billed Barbet, Chestnut-winged and Purple-headed, Waller’s and Narrow Tailed Starlings, Blue-throated Brown and Superb Sunbirds, White-collared Olive back among others.
In the afternoon, we shall visit Bigodi wetland to spot the Elusive Sitatunga Antelope in the Papyrus and several other interesting species of birds like the Papyrus, Carruthre’s Cisticola, White-winged warbler and Gonolek. There is as well a diversity of butterfly species.
Accommodation: Luxury: Ndali Lodge, Mid-range: Primate Lodge, Budget: Kibale Forest camp – Meal plan: Full Board.
Day 3: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
After breakfast, drive to Queen Elizabeth National park passing through the Kasenyi track and the Queen’s Mile in search for lions, warthogs, elephants, antelope species, buffaloes, hippos, water-bucks and bird watching. On your arrival, check at the lodge and enjoy your lunch as you prepare for an afternoon 2 hour boat-cruise along Kazinga Channel one that joins Lakes Edward and George. The cruise is a wonderful way to see water birds, hippo, pink backed pelicans, saddle billed stork, the malachite kingfishers, buffalo, Kob and the occasional Nile crocodile. On the banks of the channel you will spot bird species like the Great White & Pink-backed Pelicans, the African Open billed Stork, the Black Crake, Yellow-backed Weaver, the Great & Long-tailed Cormorants, the Common Squacco Heron, Malachite, the White-faced Whistling as well as Knob billed Ducks, Yellow-backed Weaver, the African Fish Eagle, Spur-winged & African Wattled Plovers, Water Thick Knee, Swamp Flycatcher as well as the African Jacana
After, return to the lodge for your dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: Bush Lodge Camp, Mweya Safari Lodge (Luxury), Park view Lodge/ Kasenyi safari lodge (Mid- range), Enganzi lodge (Budget)
Day 4: Chimp Tracking in Kyambura Gorge (Valley of Apes) and Transfer to Bwindi
After an early breakfast, set out for chimp tracking in Kyambura Gorge. Other animals that can be seen include; Black and white colobus monkey, red tailed monkey, giant forest hogs among others. Later drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Upon arrival, we shall simply rest and prepare for the Gorilla Trekking activity the following day.
Accommodation: Buhoma Lodge / Mahogany Springs (Luxury), Silverback Lodge / Engagi Lodge (Mid- range), Buhoma Community Bandas / Bwindi View Bandas (Budget) – Meal plan: Dinner
Day 5: Gorilla Tracking and Batwa Cultural Trail
One full day here is dedicated to seeing the gorillas. After an early morning breakfast, proceed to the park headquarters where rangers will give you a short briefing about the precautions to take, vital information about the Gorilla Trekking activity and given a chance to ask anything you and you’re off to track the gorillas. You will be allocated in groups according to your paces. Set off is accompanied by a couple of armed game rangers into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where mountain gorillas live for Gorilla Trekking. This walk can sometimes be tough and it needs someone so strong.
Trekkers are always advised to carry their rain coats and boots because the weather there is always unpredictable. There are also some potters who always help with the carrying of the luggage on behalf of the visitors but at a small cost. Depending on the day and where your specific family of gorillas are, it can take any time between 1 to 8 hours to find the gorillas and once you find them (and you’ll always find them), you get 1 hour to interact, take photos, and generally gawk at what you’re witnessing but gorillas need their space as they are wild animals.
On your return, you may opt to visit the Batwa community to enjoy some cultural performances before retiring at your lodge.
Accommodation: Buhoma Lodge / Mahogany Springs (Luxury), Silverback Lodge / Engagi Lodge (Mid- range), Buhoma Community Bandas / Bwindi View Bandas (Budget) – Meal plan: Full board
Day 6: Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
After breakfast you will depart for Lake Bunyonyi which is one of the deepest lakes in Africa with almost 32 Islands. Bunyonyi is a local word for “small birds” in reference to the several birds that live around here making it a favorite destination for birders. Upon arrival, you will go on a boat/canoe ride to enable you visit most of the islands such as Bwama Island also a wonderful destination for birders and the Akampwene (Punishment) Island which was used by the Bakiga people to drop their girls who got pregnant before marriage. After the Boat ride, return back to the Lodge for relaxation while you watch the beautiful sunset.
Alternatively you could take a nature walk which will help you to appreciate a great diversity of small birds here.
Accommodation: Bunyonyi Overland Resort (Budget), Lake Bunyonyi Rock Resort, Lake Bunyonyi Eco Lodge (Luxury) – Meal plan: Lunch & Dinner
Day 7: Departure and Transfer to Kampala
After breakfast drive back to Kampala, lunch en-route in Mbarara District and a stop at the Equator crossing for photography before you drive back to your place of accommodation for the next Kampala city and ghetto slum tour.
Accommodation: Red Chili Hideaway (Luxury, Mid-range, Budget), Meal plan: Dinner
Day 8: Explore Kampala- historic places, slum tours
After breakfast, our guide will take you to the main highlights of Kampala including the King’s Palace where you can see the prisons Idi Amin tortured his prisoners, Kasubi Tombs the Regal tombs of the Buganda people, Uganda Museum for ethnography & natural history displays, Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine Namugongo a Shrine & memorial with a unique design, the Gadhafi Mosque which is the National Mosque, Hindu Temple, Owino Market, Makerere Hill. We shall also pay a visit to any slum a Home to some of the most vulnerable populations living below the standard conditions. They are characterized by flooding, inadequate access to sanitation, inadequate access to safe water, Insecure residential status, Poor structural quality of housing, Lots of school dropouts, High rates/levels of noise, crime, drug abuse, immorality (pornography and prostitution) and alcoholism, Children eating from Garbage, High HIV/AIDS prevalence and Overcrowding.
You will have a memorable meaningful and fun day through your guided tour, learn about the lifestyle, experiences and touching stories of these simple, happy people who are always excited to see you and offer carefree interaction. Many of the children are forced into work, some just selling sweets on the street, from a young age. Receiving an education is not on the radar for many of them. It can amount to just USD 30 to send one child to school for a term which price is the same price for a meal and drink in developed countries.
You can get to know on how to assist or improve lives of Families, Women, and Children living in these slums. You could be someone’s HERO by visiting any slum.
You will also sample some local Ugandan food, delicious chapattis and the famous Rolex (it’s a roll with eggs) and some local meat grilling. Return to your place of stay or departure.
END OF THE SAFARI
Items to carry
- Long comfortable shirts and trousers.
- Insect repellent.
- Hard gloves and a hat.
- Poncho/rain jacket.
- Water proof backpack.
- Snacks, lunch and enough drinking water.
Tour inclusions: Gorilla and Chimpanzee trekking permits, all tour activities as detailed in the itinerary, Park Entry Fees, Transport (in a 4×4 vehicle), Drinking water during the safari, Professional English speaking guide/driver and Touring
Tour Exclusions: Extra activities not mentioned in the itinerary