8-Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife & Chimpanzee Tour
Join us for an unforgettable 8-day tour of Uganda’s natural wonders and cultural riches. Your adventure begins with a warm welcome at Entebbe International Airport on Day 1, where your private guide will take you to your Kampala hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you can explore the vibrant city of Kampala or just relax. During the tour, you’ll explore southwestern Uganda, visit the enchanting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and see the magnificent mountain gorillas. You’ll also stop by the equator monuments in Kayabwe and experience Ugandan culture at the Igongo Cultural Centre.
On Day 3, you’ll go on a gorilla trekking expedition in Bwindi. Here, you can see these amazing primates in their natural habitat. The next day, you’ll travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park to see Africa’s iconic wildlife. Days 5 and 6 have morning game drives, boat cruises, lion tracking, and cultural experiences. Day 7 includes chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest and an afternoon swamp walk in Bigodi. Finally, on Day 8, you’ll end your adventure by returning to Kampala or Entebbe. You’ll have unforgettable memories of Uganda’s captivating landscapes and diverse wildlife.
Day 1: Arrival, Transfer to Kampala
When you arrive at Entebbe International Airport for your Uganda Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife & Chimpanzee Tour, a private guide will be there to pick you up and take you to your hotel in Kampala. After a quick introduction and welcome, you’ll be transferred to your hotel in Kampala to freshen up. Depending on what time you arrive in Kampala, you can choose to explore the city briefly. There are some fascinating places to visit in Kampala, including the Ndeere Cultural Centre, Namugongo Martyrs’ Shrine, Craft Village, Uganda Museum, Acacia Mall, Kingdom Kampala, and more.
Your accommodation options include Forest Cottages, Sheraton Hotel, or Serena Hotel.
Day 2: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Your exciting journey on the Uganda Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife & Chimpanzee Tour kicks off with a road trip across southwestern Uganda to reach Bwindi National Park. Start your day with an early breakfast at your hotel and then rendezvous with your driver guide. From there, you’ll embark on a drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via the Mbarara-Masaka Highway. The trip from Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is quite lengthy, taking anywhere from 6 to 10 hours, depending on which part of the park you’ll be tracking gorillas in. Along the way, you’ll make a stop at the equator monuments in Kayabwe, located in Mpigi district. These two equator monuments mark the point where the equator crosses Uganda.
Next, you’ll continue your journey to Igongo Cultural Centre for lunch. This remarkable cultural center is a popular stop for many travelers heading to western Uganda and is only 12 km from Mbarara Town. Igongo Cultural Centre opened its doors to the public in 2010. While you’re there, take a brief tour of the center’s museum, which offers insights into the cultural history of the western region. You can also explore the Nkwanzi crafts and bookshop, where you can pick up some souvenirs.
Your accommodation options for this part of the journey include Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Ichumbi Lodge, or Buhoma Haven Lodge.
Day 3: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Batwa Community Visit (Optional)
Enjoy your breakfast at your lodge as early as possible, as your guide will be picking you up at 6 a.m. Following breakfast, a brief drive will take you to the Parks headquarters in Buhoma. It’s crucial to arrive at Buhoma by 7 a.m. for a briefing by the park’s chief ranger, scheduled to commence at 8 a.m. During this briefing, you’ll be divided into groups of 8 individuals based on the specific gorilla troop you’ll be tracking. The actual gorilla tracking adventure begins at 8:30 a.m., so it’s essential to be punctual. Keep in mind that the duration of gorilla trekking in Bwindi can vary, lasting anywhere from 4 to 8 hours or possibly longer, depending on the location of the gorilla group you’re assigned to. It’s advisable to bring lunch from your lodge for this day’s excursion.
Optional Batwa Community Tour: After your memorable gorilla trekking experience, you have the choice to participate in a community visit to the nearby Batwa communities near the national park. Here, you can engage with the local Batwa people and gain insights into their daily lives and rich culture, from traditional dance performances to captivating storytelling, and much more. You’ll conclude the day with dinner and spend the night at your lodge as mentioned previously.
Day 4: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Begin your day with an early morning breakfast at your lodge, and then set out on your journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park. This segment of the Uganda Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife & Chimpanzee Tour promises encounters with the iconic wildlife of Africa’s savannah. The park is situated approximately 90 km away from Buhoma, accessible via the Ishasha route. Your drive from Buhoma in Bwindi to Queen Elizabeth National Park will take approximately 4-5 hours, or around 7 hours if you are traveling from the southern sector of Bwindi.
Upon arriving at Queen Elizabeth National Park, you’ll check in at your lodge and enjoy a satisfying lunch. You have the option to relax at your lodge in the afternoon, and later, embark on an evening game drive within the park. This excursion provides a wonderful opportunity to witness a variety of wildlife as they return to their resting places for the night.
Your accommodation options for this part of the tour include Elephant Plains Safari Lodge, Park View Safari Lodge, or Pumba Safari Cottages.
Day 5: Morning Game Drive and Afternoon Boat Cruise
Enjoy an early morning breakfast, and then set out for a morning game drive in the park, commencing at 6 a.m. This morning adventure presents an excellent opportunity to observe nocturnal animals like leopards, serval cats, as well as other fascinating wildlife, including African savannah elephants, hyenas, Uganda Kobs, hartebeests, giraffes, zebras, and more.
After your morning game drive, return to your lodge for a hearty lunch. In the afternoon, embark on a captivating evening boat cruise along the Kazinga channel, starting precisely at 1 p.m. The boat cruise typically lasts around 2 hours and provides you with the chance to spot various wildlife such as hippos, Nile crocodiles, elephants, and numerous bird species, including the magnificent flamingos, Shoebill storks, Ibis, and many others.
Following your boat cruise, you have the option to partake in a cultural tour, where you can visit the neighboring Bakonjo local communities. During your visit, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the day-to-day activities of the local people and be entertained by traditional dance groups.
Finally, return to your lodge for a delicious dinner and a comfortable overnight stay.
Day 6: Lion Tracking and Drive to Kibale National Park
Start your day with a morning breakfast at your lodge, and then embark on an exciting lion tracking adventure as you search for these majestic creatures within the park. This activity can vary in duration, taking anywhere from 2 to 4 hours or potentially longer, depending on the whereabouts of the lions within the park.
After your lion tracking experience in Queen Elizabeth National Park, continue your journey further west to reach Kibale National Park. Along the way, you’ll make a stop in Fort Portal town for lunch, and then proceed with your drive to your lodge, where you’ll enjoy dinner and spend the night.
Your accommodation options for this part of the tour include Chimpundu Lodge, Chimpanzee Guesthouse, or Kyaninga Lodge.
Day 7: Chimpanzee Trekking and Bigodi Swamp Walk
Start your day with a satisfying breakfast, and then prepare for a thrilling chimpanzee trekking experience in the lush Kibale forest. The trek begins at 8:00 am and kicks off with a briefing on the guidelines for trekking chimpanzees. Following the briefing, you’ll venture into the forest in search of these remarkable creatures. Once you locate the chimpanzees, you’ll have a full hour to observe and enjoy their presence. Afterward, return to your lodge for a well-deserved lunch and some relaxation.
Following lunch at your lodge, take a drive to Bigodi for an afternoon swamp walk. This activity offers you the opportunity to encounter the rare Shoebill stork and observe a variety of other fascinating bird species. Later in the evening, return to your lodge for a delectable dinner and spend the night, just as mentioned earlier.
Day 8: Transfer Back to Kampala/Entebbe – End of Tour
To conclude the Uganda Gorilla Trekking, Wildlife & Chimpanzee Tour, you can wake up at your own pace and enjoy breakfast at your lodge. Following your morning meal, you’ll make your way back to either Kampala or Entebbe International Airport, where you’ll catch your return journey home.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
- Airport transfers on first and last day,
- Transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle
- Services of an English speaking driver guide
- Fuel for the whole trip
- Accommodation and meal plan as per the itinerary
- All park entrance fees
- Drinking water while in the vehicle