Uganda gorilla tracking 2018

Uganda gorilla tracking tour 13 days

The following itinerary has been developed to combine the best of Uganda's flora,  fauna and landscapes, as well as a range of intense and restful days. All accommodation has been chosen for its excellent value and safety.

Day 1: Welcome to Uganda!

Your driver/guide will be at Entebbe Airport to pick you up from your flight and takes you directly to your lodge in Kampala. Depending on the hour of your arrival, you may be able to explore the sites in and around Kampala (though any fees are at your own expense).
You will stay in a nice guesthouse with self contained rooms in a nice garden. There is an Italian restaurant on the same compound that serves the best pizza in town!


Journey Time: 1½ hours

Accommodation: Orchidea Guesthouse

Meal Plan: No meals included

Day 2: Rhinos on the Way to Murchison Falls

Today's journey will take you north from Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park.
Along the way, you will visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary where you will go for a game walk with an experienced ranger to the rhinos giving you a unique opportunity to view them at close range.
Kidepo Valley and Murchison Falls National Parks once had both black and white rhinos; however, widespread poaching during the Idi Amin era resulted in the disappearance of these majestic animals from the wild.

Founded in 1998, Rhino Fund Uganda works to reintroduce black and white rhinos into Uganda and runs a breeding program. Their community education program focuses on the habits of the endangered rhinos, and the threat of poaching and habitat destruction.
You will be staying at a great midrange lodge just outside the park, where you can relax for the rest of your day. The lodge is built in the style of the old forts and offers a great service and a nice view over the River Nile.

Journey Time: 7 - 8 hours

Accommodation: Fort Murchison  (safari tents)

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park

Today, you will wake up early and have breakfast before we head out on our game drive through Murchison Falls National Park. We leave early in the morning, while the animals are the most active at this hour of the day.
The northern section of the park is where you will find the most wildlife. Therefore, our game drive brings you to this part to come eye-to-eye with the African animal kingdom: elephants, giraffes, buffaloes, lions, leopards, different species of antelope and many tropical birds. They are all there!

 

In the afternoon, you will make a boat trip up the Nile River to Murchison Falls. As the river attracts large numbers of game, a boat safari up the Nile provides the perfect opportunity to see and photograph the animals.

Carefully watched by crocodiles, hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, water birds, monkeys and all the other thirsty wildlife that the Nile attracts, you will reach the base of the 43-meter-high waterfall which approaches you with a thunderous sound.

Accommodation: Fort Murchison  (safari tents)

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 4: Top of the Falls & Hoima Town

In the early morning you go for another game drive or you can relax at the lodge; the choice is yours. After an early lunch you leave Murchison Falls NP. On the way you will stop at the top of the Murchison Waterfalls: The views are amazing!! See where the world's longest river explodes violently through a narrow cleft in the Rift Valley escarpment to plunge into a frothing pool below.
From here you’ll take a beautiful route through a valley, enjoy views on Lake Albert and small villages and stop for the night in a comfortable, mid-range hotel with a big garden and pool in the cozy town of Hoima.

Journey Time: 4 - 5 hours

Accommodation: KonTiki Hotel

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 5: Kibale Forest via Fort Portal

Today, you will begin your journey to Kibale Forest National Park. The drive is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterizes so much of Uganda.
After about six hours driving, you stop for lunch in the cozy town Fort Portal. You have time to walk around town and/or visit the local market.
Tonight you will go ‘lazy camping’, a great experience where you will stay in a basic tent with 2 single beds and a solar lantern (all bedding and towels are provided). The hot showers and flushing toilets are nearby).

Journey Time: 7 hours

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp, Lazy Camping

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 6: Chimpanzee Tracking & Swamp Walk

An experienced forest ranger will take you chimp tracking today! Kibale Forest boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including the chimpanzees. In Uganda, there are approximately 5,000 chimpanzees in the wild, which makes it a perfect place to spot them!
Chimp trekking will be in the morning or afternoon. En route you might also see other monkey species that live in this forest. Once located you will spend a full hour with the chimpanzees. Since they are still wild animals, we can never guarantee you to see them and might have to settle with hearing their hoots and hollers.
The forest and swamp of Kibale Forest are home to at least 12 primate species including the Red Tailed Monkey, Olive Baboon, Black and White Colobus Monkey, and the Blue Monkey. The bird life in the forest is also prolific and includes the beautiful Great Blue Turaco.
Your afternoon swamp walk (2-3 hours) will take you through grassland, small communities and some beautiful scenery, where the locals are likely to greet you with enthusiastic waves. It is usual to spot three to four different primate species during this walk, though the highlight is catching a glimpse of the Great Blue Turaco!

Journey Time: 1 hour each way

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp, Lazy Camping

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 7: Queen Elizabeth N.P.

In the morning, you can relax at your lodge. You will then continue your journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Queen Elizabeth is Uganda’s second largest park, located at the base of the majestic Rwenzori Mountain range, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George. The park has prolific game, including gazelle, Uganda kob, warthog and waterbuck. Lions are often sighted both in and at the entrance to the park. Be prepared for huge numbers of hippo and elephant, and keep your eyes peeled for a leopard lazing in the sunshine.

 

Bush Lodge is located on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park, overlooking the spectacular Kazinga Channel. Watch wildlife at the Kazinga Channel and fall asleep to the roaring of lions on the distant savannah. This truly is Africa!
In the late afternoon you will go for a game-drive into the park.

Journey Time: 3½ hours

Accommodation: Bush Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 8: Park Game drive & Boat Safari

Today you wake up early. A little before sunrise coffee, tea and donuts will be served in the lounge before we head out for a long game drive in Queen Elizabeth N.P. We will be in time to see the first rays of sun.
During the game drive you search for all kinds of wildlife and are likely to come across elephant, buffalo, lion, waterbuck, leopard, Uganda kob, and many warthogs. Uganda has over 1.000 bird species. This park has about 612, these include African skimmer, Chapins flycatcher, pink-backed pelicans, shoebill stork, martial eagle, as well as the great flamingos.
 After lunch, you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Albert.
Here, you will see a lot of hippos (more than you can possibly imagine!), as well as a variety of other animals which come to the waterhole to drink or bathe. You can expect to see buffalo, crocodile, bathing elephant, and a range of beautiful birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your tour.
After the boat-safari you game drive back to the lodge.

Accommodation: Bush Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 9: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Today you drive to Kisoro in the south-western part of Uganda, passing through bamboo forest and having great views over the Virunga Mountains. For lunch you will stop at a local restaurant on the road.
Community members of Kabale District created Ruhija Gorilla Friends Camp to support the community's income by providing tourists with affordable accommodation. You will sleep in one of their nice “lazy camping” safari tents or bandas; with beds, linen and towels inside!
From the camp it will be easy to start the gorilla tracking tomorrow, as the UWA briefing point for is only about 500m from the camp.

Journey Time: 9 - 10 hours

Accommodation: Ruhija Friends Gorilla Camp

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Day 10: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Forest

Today is the big day for gorilla trekking, meet Uganda's gentle giant! For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda.
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.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees - the only forest in Africa which can make this claim. It also hosts five other species of primate, 113 species of mammal, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds.
 En route, your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots. Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorilla family.
The time taken to track the gorillas can be as few as 2 hours to as many as 7 hours. 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 Friends Camp
Meal Plan: No meals included

Days 11: Lake Bunyonyi

A three-hour ride will take you to Lake Bunyonyi (“Lake of the little birds”) where you will be staying on a beautiful island. Surrounded by steep hills rising out of the lake, people call it “The Switzerland of Africa”.
You will stay on an island which is set in idyllic isolation on the tranquil waters of Lake Bunyonyi. There is a restaurant serving continental and local dishes. The lake is famous for its crayfish, a local delicacy freshly harvested upon request.
The volcanic lake is bilharzia-free and safe for swimming and canoeing.
 In the afternoon, you can spend time relaxing at the camp or choose to do any from the optional activities at/from the island:
- Walking, jogging, cycling
- Bird watching
- Cultural and historical tours
- Canoeing and boat rides

Journey Time: 3 hours

Accommodation: Bushara Island Camp

Meal Plan: No meals included

Day 12: Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast, you will continue your journey to Lake Mburo National Park which is one of Uganda’s smallest parks, but certainly not to be underestimated. It is the only Ugandan national park (besides to Kidepo Valley NP) which is home to zebra, eland and impala, as well as an abundance of other wildlife. The lake itself is full with hippos and crocodiles!
You will stay just outside the park boundaries, but it will feel like being in the middle of the park. From your verandah and restaurant you have a great view over the park and its wildlife.

Journey Time: 7 hours

Accommodation: Eagles Nest

Meal Plan: No meals included

Day 13: Bush walk - Airport Transfer

Lake Mburo National Park is one of two parks in Uganda where it is permitted to go for a bush walk with an experienced ranger. This opportunity should not be missed.
From footprints and animal droppings the ranger will tell you which animal has left it and how long ago. It is exciting to approach the wildlife at such close range.
Note: Instead of going for the bush walk, you can relax at your lodge or make a horseback riding safari in the park (US$ 70 p.p. for 2 hours).
 After brunch 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: 6 hours
Accommodation: Not included
Meal Plan: Breakfast

Book Safari Uganda!