Day 1 Drive to Bwindi forest national park
From Kampala to Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale, to Bwindi forest national park. Dinner and Overnight Silverback Lodge or Mahogany Springs Lodge
Driving time: ± 9 hours
Mid-range: Silverback Lodge
Luxury: Mahogany Springs Lodge
Meals: - Lunch, Dinner
Day 2 Gorilla tracking
Enjoy gorilla tracking today, Overnight Silverback Lodge or Mahogany Springs Lodge
6:30 am start breakfast until 7:15 am.
7:30 am depart the lodge for the park area office where there will be a dance performing group. Here clients watch the dancers while their passports are being registered.
8:00 am attending a short briefing on the gorilla tracking process, get grouped, get assigned a tracking group/family.
8:30 am start the gorilla tracking physical input of walking into the forest or taking a drive to the starting point where the tracking begins.
You will head out with your packed lunch, plenty of drinking water in your backpack.
2:00 pm you will be back and you will be very exhausted.
It is always best to hear from other visitors, and this is Janet and Sarah's story:
"At a distance of about fifteen feet, a mountain gorilla with her baby appears. She comes out of the bushes, looks at me and lies down. My presence does not seem to bother her. She just wants to rest, whether I am there or not. I can almost touch her. My heart dances with joy. I am in a good position to take pictures, so I let my camera do its work. It is the thrill of a lifetime. I cannot but agree with the American zoologist George Schaller, the first to study gorillas in the Virunga volcanoes, who once said: ‘No one who looks into the eyes of a gorilla, gentle and vulnerable, can remain unchanged."
Day 3 Drive to Queen Elizabeth national park
Drive to Ishasha game drive through before continuing to Mweya safari lodge for lunch and overnight or Ihamba safari lodge.
Day 4 Lion tracking game drive and afternoon boat safari
Morning breakfast and lion tracking game drive until 11:30 am and after lunch go a boat ride in the afternoon on the Kazinga channel
Day 5 Back to Kampala
Option 2 reversed
Day 1: Arrival!
Queen Elizabeth national is west of Uganda with 2 distinctive lakes George and Edward. There are several crater lakes that are part of this wonderful national park. There is a channel that joins lakes George and Edward where on a boat ride will take you along the Kazinga Channel to see hippopotamus and Nile crocodiles. The Wildlife game includes Uganda Kob, Warthog and Waterbuck; Lions and Elephant, Leopard lazing.
Journey Time 8 hours
Accommodation Marafiki Safari Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner
Day 2: Morning Game Drive, Boat Safari, nature drive
Be prepared to enjoy a long day of activity searching and spotting the wildlife of this wonderful park. Lions, Leopard, Spotted Hyena, African Elephant, African Buffalo, Hippopotamus, Warthog, Uganda Kob, Tsavo Cat.
Journey Time: Days activities
Accommodation: Bush Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner
Lion tracking for lovers of lions you will get close to lion prides together with the research team. The experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of the lions in the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings, and behavior. The results are added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of lions. This will as well gives you a 95% chance to see the lions! The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors.
The experiential tourism activities currently available are Mongoose Tracking, Lion Tracking, Hippopotamus Census, and Bird Counts. Experiential tours last between one and three hours with a limited number of travelers. They usually take place in the early morning or evening, or occasionally at night. All activities must be booked through the Visitor Information Centre in Mweya at least 24 hours in advance.
Costing: $100 per person
Optional activity: Chimpanzee tracking Kyambura Gorge. The chances of seeing chimpanzees are 50%.
Day 3: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Today the trip will take you to drive to Bwindi forest where you will be tracking gorillas.
Journey Time 7 hours
Accommodation Ruhija gorilla safari lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast and dinner
Day 4: Gorilla Tracking Day
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees - the only forest in Africa which can make this claim, in fact. It also hosts five other species of primate, 113 species of mammal, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds. En route to the gorillas, your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots.
The gorillas you track belong to one of nine habituated family groups who can tolerate the presence of humans for a brief period every day.
The time taken to track the gorillas can be as few as 2 hours to as many as 7 hours. Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorilla family. Once the gorillas have been located, your group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them. Coming face-to-face with a mountain gorilla is a truly humbling and emotional experience. This is a fantastic and privileged opportunity to get up close and personal with Uganda’s very own ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.
Accommodation Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, and dinner
Day 5: Back to Kampala/Entebbe
After an early breakfast at the lodge, we will drive back to Kampala or Entebbe (Airport) stopping at the equator for the requisite snapshot and a bit of souvenir shopping. Accommodation for tonight is not inclusive in the program. If you wish to depart tonight from Entebbe Airport, make sure your flight is at 10 pm or later. If you would like us to book one (or more) nights in Kampala and/or Entebbe, please let us know.
Journey Time 9 - 10 hours Accommodation Not included Meal Plan Breakfast
Option Fly out via Kigali
Instead of driving back to Entebbe (10 hours), you can also fly out via Kigali, Rwanda. The drive to Kigali is only 4 hours from Bwindi Ruhija, so that gives you a shorter drive and some extra time at in Kigali shopping or some time to explore Kigali! Costing: US$ 300 per transfer for a maximum of 4 people (transfer will be organized by your accommodation).
Ask for more information about this option and how to apply for your East African Visa (that included both Uganda and Rwanda) with your booking.
Please note that activities in Kigali and accommodation in Kigali are not inclusive in the itinerary. If you would like us to book one (or more) nights in Kigali, please let us know.
Journey Time: 4 hours to Kigali
Accommodation: Not included Meal Plan: Breakfast
Since this is a private tour, departure can be organized for any time throughout the year subject to the availability of accommodation and transport.
What is included
- Transport in a 4wd minivan with pop-up roof for an excellent view.
- All fuel for the tour.
- English speaking Ugandan driver/guide.
- Accommodation as listed in the itinerary.
- All breakfasts and dinners included.
- Packed lunch for the gorilla tracking.
- Park entrance fees according to the itinerary.
- All activities described in the itinerary.
- 1 gorilla permit per person (US$ 600).
What is Excluded
- International airfares.
- Entry Visa.
- Meals that are not part of your accommodation.
- A porter during the gorilla tracking (someone who carries your daypack).
- Personal (medical/travel) insurance.
- Government tax or park fees increase.
- Tips and gratuities to rangers, driver/guide, porter, hotel staff.
- All expenses of personal nature (e.g. drinks, laundry, optional activities, souvenirs.
1. Travelers are supposed to reach Entebbe on the tour starting the day before 8 am and leaving from the same airport at the end of the tour after 8 pm.
If these times can't be respected then 1 or 2 days should be calculated for the overnight in Kampala.
2. Children under 12 years of age are not allowed to see chimpanzees.
3. Kibale National Park offers small walks of 1 or 2 hours followed by creative activities.
4. Gorilla trekking is not allowed to anyone under 15 years of age.
5. Prices for private safari. No extra passengers added.
6. All prices are VAT included.
7. Prices are in United States dollars (USD).
8. Gorilla permits are available booking at least 3 weeks before the departure date.