Uganda – Gorilla And Chimpanzee Trekking

11 - 14 Days
DIFFICULTY

Medium

MIN. AGE

12 Years

£ 3995

A Fantastic Opportunity

This is a true wildlife odyssey – A fantastic opportunity to see some wonderful national parks and experience gorillas, chimpanzees, primates and numerous safari animals like no other. You’ll be taken through a variety of habitats, trail through the tropical rainforest and even discover the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi.

I used to be a beach girl, I now can’t imagine sitting on a beach when I could be out in the big wide world having an adventure.

– L. Pratt

Price £3,995 / $4,500

Based on 4 pax travelling (Supplement applies if less of £300). Excludes international flights.

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2024: 05-May, 06-Oct

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Day by Day

Airport pickup by our representative and transfer to Kampala. There is a possibility of a Kampala city tour depending on your arrival time.

You will wake up to an early breakfast and then embark on your journey to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will have your Rhino Trekking activity and the Night walk in the late evening. Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Ranch located in Nakasongola district is the proud home of the only wild rhinos in Uganda. The Rhino reintroduction project was a project of Rhino Fund Uganda and Uganda Wildlife Authority. We are conveniently located 176km (100 miles) north of Kampala on the Gulu highway towards Murchison Falls (branch off at Nakitoma Trading center). Ziwa is the only place where you will be able to see rhinos in the wild. Presently the sanctuary is home to thirty-two (32) southern white rhinos. The sanctuary has become increasingly popular with tourists; for Rhino Trekking, Shoebill Trek and Canoe Ride, Bird Watching, Night Walk, Nature Walk and Relaxation.

After breakfast you will head out for your early morning shoe bill canoe and then after your shoe bill canoe trek we depart by road for Murchison falls National Park. This scenic drive takes approximately 4 hours (excluding stops) giving you a good insight on Uganda’s way of life with plenty of wildlife & birds en-route. We have the option of driving to the top of the falls before reaching your lodge. This is a fantastic sight: Here the Nile is forced through a narrow gap in the rocks (only 7 meters wide) before ferociously plunging down 43 meters.

We will then take the ferry to our lodge.

After an early breakfast we will set off for our first game drive of the trip as we head further into Murchison Falls National Park.

The park includes wetland, savannah as well as tropical forest, and among the big mammals found on the savannah include Rothschild’s Giraffe, Lions, Warthog, Cape Buffalo, Uganda Kob, Hartebeest and Elephants. It is also home to over 360 species of birds.

We will head back to the lodge in time for lunch and relaxation before heading out again, this time on a boat safari on the Nile.

Another fantastic wildlife experience where you will have the opportunity to see a large concentration of Nile crocodile, hippos and numerous water-birds including the rare shoebill stork.

The boat trip heads towards the bottom of the falls before returning back to the lodge, however for those wanting some activity the boat can drop you at the bottom of the falls and you can walk back to the top where your guide/vehicle will be waiting for you.

Day at leisure. Our driver / guide will be on hand and you can choose to do another game safari, boat safari, or if you prefer to relax by the pool and watch the elephants along the waterside. It is not unknown for elephants and warthogs to visit the lodge grounds.

After breakfast we set off for our drive to Kibale National Park. Our packed lunch will be enjoyed en route. The trip takes us through a variety of habitats that includes forests, savannah, papyrus swamps, and vegetable gardens, that all result in beautiful sceneries. Add to this the wildlife (including numerous baboons) and villages we pass along the way and it makes for a truly interesting journey.

We set off early this morning for a short drive to Kibale National Park. We meet at the ranger station for a briefing to track a habituated chimp group - These delightful apes, more closely related to humans than any other living creature, are tremendous fun to watch as they squabble and play in fruiting trees. The exciting activity begins in the morning and may take a whole day or a few hours. As the chimps warm up, they start to make their way down to the forest floor – and here we are able to trek with them for a while as they go about their daily business.

Besides our close cousins, the chimpanzees, there are other primates likely to be encountered. These include Red Colobus, Hoesti, Black-and-White Colobus, Red Tailed Monkeys, Grey-Cheeked Mangabey and other primate species.

We head back to our lodge for lunch before spending the afternoon at leisure (or and optional swamp walk at Bigodi wetland).

After breakfast, we check out and drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park (approx. 3 hours away). The drive passes though Fort Portal southwards along the Eastern length of the Ruwenzori Mountains. On a clear day you may see the glaciated peaks as you gently descend into the Great Rift Valley to the park. The Rwenzori Peaks provide a magnificent backdrop to antelope-filled plains.

Queen Elizabeth National Park covers about 2,000 square kilometers and spreads along the eastern shore of the Rift Valley’s Lake Edward.

We can expect to see teeming herds of impala-like Uganda Kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally. Enjoy the evening game drive with the possibility of seeing leopards as the sun goes down.

We set out early in the morning for a game drive (approx. 5 hours) in the northern part of the park on the Kasenyi Track in search of lions, elephants, solitary buffaloes. This is the best time for opportunities of viewing the cats in action owing to the vast population of Uganda Kobs. We have an excellent chance to view just about every animal here at very close range. In the afternoon we will go for a boat trip along the Kazinga Channel. This gives us the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray a mere foot away from the boat, buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork, fish eagles and many others.

After breakfast we drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. On the way we can choose to via Maramagambo Forest for a nature walk and visit the bat caves where you may observe thousands of bats within inches of their roosts and often pythons and monitor lizards poised to strike by the cave entrance, or to go to Ishasha for a game drive in search for tree climbing lions.

After an early breakfast we take a short drive to the park offices for briefing. After a briefing from the park’s guides, we set out on our long-anticipated adventure – an amazing finale to the trip of a lifetime – gorilla trekking.

There are 3 habituated gorilla families and you will be allocated one of them. One of the families tends to live nearer to the outskirts of the forest, so the trek will be shorter and easier. Your guides will discuss your fitness / medical levels with you before the morning and will try and allocate the right group for you. Your trek may last a few hours or the whole day.

Be prepared for a challenging trek through the forest and bamboo covered slopes accompanied by the guide and trackers. The trek can involve travelling deep into this dense jungle described by early explorers as “The Impenetrable Forest”. Expect to walk a long distance in steep and muddy conditions before you encounter any gorillas. Your reward for your trek is out of this world as you experience these majestic and calm apes. For conservation purposes, you are able to spend an hour observing and following the gorillas before heading back out of the jungle to find our guides.

At the end of the trek, we will head off to Lake Buyoni.

After breakfast you will take tour of Lake Bunyonyi. The word “Bunyonyi”, in the local language means, ‘the place of very many little birds’. Lake Bunyonyi is the second deepest lake in Africa, Lake Tanganyika being the deepest. The lake is a flooded valley system, extending Northwards from Rwanda over a distance of 25km long and 7km wide. It is thought to have formed about 8000 years ago as a result of a lava flow from one of the Virunga Mountains. The lake has a total surface area of 60sq km and is surrounded with 20 small islands encircled by steep terraced hills. Its high-altitude location ensures a moderate climate, becoming chilly at night and relatively low incidence of malaria due to absence of mosquitoes. Bilharzia is absent from the lake as are crocodiles and hippos making it very safe to swim.

This afternoon is at leisure and you can choose to take a kayak out on the lake

Today we will head back to Entebbe Airport in time for your flight home

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Pioneer Expeditions
Average rating:  
 10 reviews
 by Alan Armstrong
Uganda

The big attraction of this trip was the opportunity to see Gorillas and Chimpanzees in their natural habitat. I was not disappointed. It was a very emotional experience and never to be forgotten. Uganda was a very pleasant surprise. Some of the drives between venues were quite long but never boring. The scenery is often breath taking and witnessing the Ugandan people getting on with their lives as of course most are outside in the daylight hours! And eyes opened to what can be transported on a motor bike!. The wildlife parks can be enjoyed without loads of other vehicles and the water safaris were the first for me. The water safari in Queen Elizabeth Park is particularly memorable. Abdullah, our driver / guide was attentive and knowledgeable. I always felt safe with him. He was clearly very experienced and a very nice guy! Overall, loved the trip.

Uganda

We chose this trip over other safari destinations because of the opportunity for gorilla & chimpanzee trekking. However, having witnessed the variety & abundance of wildlife, notably at Murchison Falls NP, this country deserves a higher profile for the safari opportunities it offers. Boat rides also offer a pleasant change from the safari vehicle with even more opportunities to view so many different birds & animals from a different angle. The chimp trekking surpassed expectations - never seen so many chimps at one time! The trek to see the gorillas will vary, dependant on their location, but should not be underestimated; the optional porters for $20 are well worth it & help to support the local economy. The gorillas were unperturbed by our presence & this made for a truly authentic experience; it was an honour to share an hour of their lives. The standard of accommodation was generally very good, food plentiful & of a good standard. Finally, the success of any small group adventure is often dependent upon the guide. Abdullah was always punctual, polite, accommodating & put our wishes & needs at the forefront. He had a very good knowledge of the animals & birds & his driving skills (fully tested both on & off road!) was exceptional. A trip we will remember for a lifetime.

 by N.Gane
Uganda – small group trip

A truly unforgettable experience
The abundance of wildlife was well beyond my expectations, the accomadation and food excellent, and our driver/guide Abdullah went out of his way to ensure we had a great time.

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