African Mountain Gorilla by Hjalmar Gislason

Gorilla Trek to Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi National Park

Tour Length8 days
Priced from pps $3852 R48418 £3087 3569 A$5019 C$5136 NZ$5470 Full pricing info
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Summary of this Lodge Safari

Quick Itinerary Overview

This 8-day Uganda Safari Adventure goes trekking for endangered mountain gorillas, game viewing, chimpanzee tracking and on boat cruises in some of Uganda’s top national parks.

The Budget African Lodge Safari includes:

  • visiting the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • Murchison Falls National Park game viewing and boat cruise
  • chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park
  • boat trip on Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth Park
  • game drive in Kasenyi and Queens Mile of Queen Elizabeth
  • primate walk along the Kyambura Gorge
  • gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

This Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari Adventure offers a superb wildlife and scenic exploration of unique Uganda!

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Itinerary for this Tour

Day 1: Kampala to Murchison Falls – Uganda

The Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari Adventure departs from Kampala setting off north-west on a scenic drive through the renowned Luwero Triangle. We travel to Masindi town via the Ziwa Rhino Project, stopping to visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. At the sanctuary we go rhino trekking to see the only rhinos in the country - a highlight on our Ugandan Safari.

After lunch, we head to Murchison, set at the top of the Murchison Falls with panoramic views of the Victoria Nile section of the White Nile. At the Falls the river plummets 45 metres into the gorge below! We admire the Nile River as it passes through a seven meter canyon at the roaring falls, forming rainbows in the misty spray above.

Murchison Falls National Park is one of Uganda’s oldest conservation areas and the largest game park in Uganda, covering 3,893 km². The national park consists mostly of untamed African Savannah bushveld and lies in the northern Albertine Rift Valley, where the Bunyoro escarpment meets the vast plains of Acholiland. The Murchison Falls National Park is bisected by the mighty River Nile with its impressive Murchison Falls.

Overnight and dinner at a comfortable, laid-back lodge beside the river. The eco-friendly lodge is located on the banks of the River Nile looking out over Murchison Falls National Park.

  • Lunch / Dinner

Day 2: Murchison Falls National Park – Uganda

Day two of our Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari kicks off with a fresh cup of African produced coffee. We then cross the River Nile on a ferry, making our way onto the northern banks of the Murchison Falls National Park.

Your guide takes you in search of Africa's wildlife, including elephant, lion, buffalo, Rothschild's giraffe, hyena and numerous crocodiles and hippos. The national park is also home to various antelopes, such as hartebeest, waterbuck, Oribi, bushbuck, and reedbuck. If we are lucky we may even spot the elusive leopard in the park. We return to the lodge for breakfast and a rest.

After lunch we embark on a boat cruise on the calm waters of the Victoria Nile. Along the way we keep an eye out for wallowing hippos and crocodiles from our boat. We may also sight other wild animals as we go, including elephant, waterbuck and Uganda Kob found along this 17 km stretch of river. This riverine area also hosts numerous bird species, from the Goliath heron, Egyptian goose and pelican bee-eater, to the kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and rare shoebill stork.

Our boat cruise takes us to the base of the Murchison Falls, stopping tens of meters away from the "Devil's Cauldron". We leave the boat at the base of the falls and hike to the top of the falls, which takes about an hour. We get to see the falls from a new perspective as we hike, admiring the world's longest river as it courses through the narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment. Your driver and guide takes you back to the lodge from the top of the falls.

We enjoy dinner and stay in bandas at the same lovely lodge in a natural setting beside the river.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 3: Murchison Falls to Kibale Forest – Uganda

Today is spent driving south to the market town of Fort Portal via Hoima. We pass through the lush countryside of farms and traditional homesteads on the Albertine Rift escarpment. Fort-Portal is located in a lush, tea growing region at the base of the mystic Rwenzori Mountains, also called the Mountains of the Moon, in Uganda.

Meals and overnight at a beautifully located lodge offering views of Kibale Forest, the dramatic crater lake and the scenic Mountains of the Moon.

  • ​Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 4: Kibale Chimpanzee Trekking & Queen Elizabeth National – Uganda

Our day starts early, with chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park, home to an impressive 500 chimpanzees. The dense jungles of Kibale Park are the best place to view chimpanzees in Africa. The chimpanzees are commonly found feeding on fig tree fruits in the game park and have been habituated to humans since 1992.

Kibale National Park covers 795 km² and consists mostly of a vast tract of equatorial rainforest. This national park is home to numerous forest wildlife species, boasting one of the highest concentrations of primates in the world. The 13 primate species include include rare I’Hoest’s monkeys, black-and-white colobus and Uganda red colobus monkeys, red-tailed and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys and bushbabies.

In the afternoon we travel south to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, taking in the sights and looking out for game as we drive.

Tonight we have dinner and overnight at a comfortable lodge on the shores of Lake George.

  • ​Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 5: Queen Elizabeth National Park – Uganda

After coffee we set off on an early morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth Park, exploring the area of Kasenyi Plains and Queens Mile, near Lake George. Wildlife sightings include plenty of Ungandan kob, elephants, lions, buffalo, waterbuck, warthogs and various birds. After our game drive we return to the lodge for breakfast and a rest.

After lunch at the lodge, we embark on a two hour boat trip on the Kazinga Channel, getting up close to hippos, buffalos, elephants and other wildlife. The boat trip offers excellent bird watching opportunities. The banks of the channel are home to a rich variety of birds, including pink-backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers and saddle-billed stork.

The Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda's most popular protected area and covers about 1978 km². The park is scenically located on the rift valley floor between Lake Edward and Lake George flanked by towering mountains in the distance. The game park is set among hills and lakes and consists mostly of euphorbia tree-studded savannahs or grasslands. The varied habitats within Queen Elizabeth National Park host 95 mammal and 612 bird species.

Dinner and overnight stay at the same intimate lodge set in nature.

  • ​Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 6: Queen Elizabeth Park to Bwindi Forest – Uganda

Day six starts with breakfast before we take a guided primate walk in the Kyambura Gorge in search of chimpanzees and other primates.

We make our way to Ishasha after our chimpanzee walk in the lush gorge. This journey takes us along the impressive craters of the western Rift Valley escarpment and the Ishasha section of Queen Elizabeth National Park. We take a game drive en route, looking out for wildlife, especially the tree-climbing lions found in this southern part of the game park.

The rewarding four hour drive brings us to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the evening. Bwindi Park is home to the endangered African Mountain Gorillas, along with a rich diversity of wild animals, insects and plants. Inhabitants include various other primate species, such as the blue and red tailed monkeys. Dinner and overnight stay at a community lodge (or similar eco-camp) in the lush hills of Bugambira. We stay in twin-rooms with private bathrooms, some featuring decks overlooking the forest surroundings.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 7: Bwindi Gorilla Trekking – Uganda

Day seven starts with an early morning breakfast, before meeting up with our official guide from the Uganda Wildlife Authority, for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of trekking mountain gorillas in the wild.

We head off into the dense vegetation of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, famous for endangered gorilla trekking. Trekking these endangered gorillas is the highlight of visiting Uganda, considered one of the most remarkable wildlife encounters on earth.

The gorilla trek can take up to six hours, so a reasonable degree of fitness and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are required. The thrill of encountering these gentle primates in the wild is well worth the sometimes challenging trek through the thick undergrowth.

This rewarding trek through the jungle takes us in search of a group of gorillas. Once we find the African Mountain Gorillas we spend some time watching them feed and interact with each other. We get to hear the gorillas communicating with one another and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant adult male gorillas, called Silverbacks. Encountering these giant apes is one of Africa’s rarest and most poignant wildlife experiences.

Each gorilla encounter is unique, offering its own rewards. We generally get up close to the adult gorillas to watch them feeding, grooming and resting, as well as witnessing the young gorillas at play.

In the afternoon we explore a local community on foot, if there is enough time. Our visit contributes to the well being of the community and gives us the chance to gain insight into the ways of the Ugandan people living near Bwindi Park. After our village walk we return to the camp and have a drink together, recounting our unforgettable adventures with the African Mountain Gorillas.

Dinner and another night at the charming lodge near Bwindi Park.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

About Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Located in southwestern Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable National Park covers part of the diverse Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is best known for its primate populations, being home to about half the world’s mountain gorillas, at over 300 endangered gorillas. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest ecosystem is exceptionally high in biodiversity, with rich flora and fauna species. This lush forested area hosts some of the richest tree, small mammal, bird, butterfly, reptilian, and moth populations.

Bwindi is a birding paradise, home to 348 bird species. This area is one of Uganda’s best bird watching destinations supporting nearly all of the Albertine Rift endemic species found in Uganda, along with several Red Data Book species.

The Bwindi Forest of Uganda is an ancient rainforest, said to have survived the last ice age. A recently proclaimed World Heritage Site, Bwindi is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world hosting unique and precious floral species. There's also a substantial chimpanzee population and research shows that Bwindi is the only forest in Africa where both these apes are found.

Day 8: Bwindi to Kampala or Entebbe – Uganda

We enjoy an early breakfast on day eight and then return to Kampala, visiting Igongo Cultural village en route. Here we learn about the Bahima and Ankole cultures of Uganda, finding out about the history of these interesting people.

We cross the equator, stopping to take photographs and have lunch along the way. Arrive back in Kampala and Entebbe in time to catch onward flights, bringing this Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari Adventure to a close. Airport drop-offs can be arranged free of charge, if you are flying out on the last day of the safari.

  • ​Breakfast / Lunch
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+Where does the tour go to?
+Included in the Tour Price
  • Transportation in a 4x4 safari vehicle
  • Accommodation and meals as per the itinerary
  • Igongo Cultural Village visit
  • Boat trips
  • Park fees and game drives
  • Kibale Chimpanzee and Kyambura Gorge Chimp Permits
  • Community Visits
  • Ziwa Sanctuary Rhino Tour
  • Services of English speaking driver/guide
  • AMREF Emergency Evacuation Medical Insurance
+Not Included in the Tour Price
  • Visas and flights
  • Drinks and personal items
  • Laundry and telephone calls
  • Tips to local guides
  • Porter fee while trekking
  • Personal insurance
  • Gorilla Trekking Permits (per person)
  • Accommodation in Kampala or Entebbe (before and after the safari)
  • Airport transfers (collection)
+Departure Dates

This Gorilla Trekking Safari departs daily on request with a minimum of 2 pax.

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