"Start Monkey-ing around! Here is your chance to get up close and personal with various animals through the heart of Uganda!"
Also known as the 'Pearl of Africa', Uganda is so-named for its intrinsic natural beauty. This comprehensive 15-day tour will be heaven for any nature and wildlife lover, with all manner of exotic animals on the itinerary, from rhinos, to lions, to mountain gorillas. This epic journey will take you from the pristine shores of Lake Victoria to the historical town of Kampala with everything from bountiful wildlife reserves, rhino sanctuaries and sprawling savannah grasslands and gigantic National Parks in between. Whatever you do, do not forget your camera for this trip- the beautiful sights are too numerous to name and could fill an entire album thrice over!
You'll start your tour in Entebbe, taking in splendid views of Lake Victoria, before heading over to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary to see some of these temperamental horned creatures up close! Roll across a never-ending grass savannah on the shore of the River Nile, before discovering the scenic Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve by horseback. Next, check out the Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the largest and most beautiful park's of its kind in the world. Canoe across the waters of Lake Mutanda, before going to meet some mountain gorillas for an incredible encounter! As well as wildlife and sight-seeing, you'll have the chance to learn about Batwi culture, cycle around Lakes, ride across savannah and hike up volcanoes!
The incredible story of the critically endangered mountain gorilla is testament to the power of conservation and, more specifically, ecotourism. Mountain gorillas are found in just three central African countries: Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a result of wars, poaching, and forest habitat loss in these countries, mountain gorilla populations sharply declined - just ten years ago their numbers were as low as 400, and the fate of these great apes looked bleak. Over the last ten years, though, there’s been a significant turnaround for mountain gorillas, with conservation efforts helping to boost numbers to over 800, as they stand today.
Ecotourism has played an important part in helping to bring Mountain Gorillas back from the brink of extinction, with the money made through gorilla tourism used to support conservation efforts. For example, funds generated through the cost of gorilla trekking permits have helped to provide funds for anti-poaching patrols, to support local communities, and to improve park infrastructure. By booking a gorilla trekking tour, travellers are able to directly contribute to the protection of mountain gorillas, whilst also experiencing one of the world’s most unique and memorable wildlife encounters! The future of mountain gorillas is intrinsically linked to ecotourism - neither can survive without the other.
Arrival at Entebbe International Airport: Touch down and transfer over to your hotel in Entebbe, situated on an idyllic spot along the shores of Lake Victoria.
Entebbe - Murchison Falls National Park - Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary: Following an early breakfast we will be driving to Murchison Falls National Park, located along the River Nile. Stop at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in the Nakasongola District, the only location in Uganda to house wild Rhinos! Trained rangers will guide you to observe these impressive but dangerous animals from a safe distance, along with other animals such as bushbuck, oribi, hippos and crocodiles. Be sure to seize this chance to take some prime snaps during this 1-2 hour guided tour, before driving on to Kabarega Diners for some welcome lunch!
Game drive, cruise and hike: Embark on a game drive in the early hours of the morning, racing along the gorgeous savannah grasslands along the northern bank of the River Nile. Animal lovers will be pinching themselves, as these areas are home to giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, lions, hyenas, leopards, warthogs and various species of monkeys. Next you'll be turning your attention to the marine life of the River Nile, boarding a boat cruise that will take you within spotting distance of wildlife such as hippos and crocodiles! Then strap on your hiking shoes as you reach the base of the Murchison Falls and clamber 43 metres to the top, where you can enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Nile flowing out across the savannah.
Drive to Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve, Lake Albert: Head out to Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve, a perfect scenic stop between the Murchison Falls and Lake Alberta. Since 2002, conservation efforts have been renewed to once again make this area the haven for wildlife it once was, before an epidemic of poaching. The fruits of these efforts can be seen in the Uganda kobs, bushbuck and Buffaloes that roam the Reserve. Next you'll be heading to the Lake Albert Safari Lodge in preparation for an action packed day tomorrow!
Kabwoya Wildlife Reserve - Kibale Forest National Park: Saddle up, as you take to horseback to explore the expansive Kabwoya Reserve which is renowned for splendid scenery and diverse wildlife. After a hearty lunch it will be on to Kibale Forest National Park: yet another place of outstanding natural beauty! Sleep overnight at the Papaya Lake Lodge.
Kibale National Park: This park contains one of the most exquisite and varied tracts of tropical forest in the entirety of Uganda. With vast swathes of forest cover interspersed with grassland and swamp, this park is home to 13 species of primate including man's closest relative: the chimpanzee! A group of well-trained park rangers will lead you out on to track chimpanzees who often prove playfully elusive. Later, a walk across the Bigodi wetlands will take you past many different monkey and bird species including the rare and wondrous Great Blue Turaco!
Queen National Elizabeth: This park is Uganda's most frequented by tourists worldwide and with good reason; it is immense, stunning and resplendent with diverse wildlife. You will be discovering all the beauties the park has to offer tomorrow after resting up at Mweya Safari Lodge.
Morning game drive and afternoon boat safari: Explore the Kasenyi plains today, as you set off into the Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park contains several eco-systems, with sprawling savannah, humid forests, sparkling blue lakes and fertile wetlands all located in its boundaries. With the looming Rwenzori Mountains serving as an awe-inspiring backdrop there are further visual delights to take in: from picturesque views of the Kazinga Channel to spreads of luscious green hills. Embark on a boat cruise down the Kazinga Channel, which is lined with an uneasy alliance of wildlife, including elephants, hippos, buffaloes and the Uganda kob!
Ishasha: It's back to the Queen Elizabeth National Park as you go to the Ishasha sector on the look-out for tree-climbing lions that are abundant in this area! A game drive will give you plentiful opportunity to spot some lions along with other exotic wildlife such as topi, elephants, buffaloes and hyenas. After a full day of animal spotting it will be time to head back to the lodge for a welcome lunch. Then you'll spend your night sleeping by the river at Ishasha Wilderness camp, watching elephants sloshing water along the shore line.
Drive to Bwindi Forest National Park: Check into your lodge, situated at the edge of the idyllic Lake Mutanda, which is truly one of Africa's hidden gems. Lake Mutanda is dotted with emerald isles, with the rolling highlands of the Virunga volcanoes providing a breath-taking backdrop. Lake Mutanda offers all manners of entertainment, whether it be canoeing along its glistening waterways, hiking, or mountain biking around the wonderful landscape.
Gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park: Head to the park office of Rushaga at 7am sharp where you will be allocated into your 'gorilla groups'! After a briefing you will venture out into the Bwindi Forest for a once in a lifetime chance to encounter the 'gentle giants' of the ape kingdom: the mountain gorilla. After
Batwa walk - Golden Monkey trek - Mgaghinga Gorilla National Park: Options abound today, as you have the chance to choose between a variety of activities! Set off on a canoe ride around the entrancing Lake Mutanda, docking at some of its islands and glancing upon the dream-like misty highlands in the distance. Continue along the Lake to Kisoro where you will meet your driver who will be taking you to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Here you will embark on a Batwa trail walk, diving back into history and learning about the culture of the ancient Batwa people, who will teach you their hunting techniques and fire-making skills. Alternative activities include a 'Golden Monkey Trek' or a one-day hike into the Virunga volcanoes.
Drive to Mburo National Park: Drive north to Lake Mburo National Park stopping en-route in Mbarara town for a lunch break. Cruise out along the tranquil waters of Mburo and be sure to be on the look out for a wonderful array of wildlife including fearsome Hippos and a range of water birds! After two days of paddling, you'll have a chance to rest your sore arms at the Mihingo Lodge and get a great night's sleep before tomorrow's Bushwalk!
Bushwalk and drive to Kampala: An early guided Bushwalk into the Lake Mburo National Park will give you another great opportunity to spot yet more exotic wildlife! There is a wonderful array of species on display, with zebras, antelopes and impalas that are native just to this park! After a spot of breakfast head out to Kampala, and stop off at the Uganda Equator to take some snaps of the truly beautiful scenery unique to this location.
Airport transfer: Hopefully you will have time for a quick tour of Kampala, visiting religious and cultural landmarks here before heading to the airport for your evening flight home. Wave goodbye to Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, and reflect upon the magnificent beauty and wildlife that you experienced here – memories to last a lifetime!
- The rate shown is a 'from' price per person
- Click 'Ask a Question' up above to speak to the operator about this tour's availability, departure dates and costs
- It is advisable to book your tour well in advance as the gorilla and chimpanzee permits are limited and sell out quickly, especially during the peak months of June, July, August and December.
- Only 8 people can track a gorilla group in a day
- Minimum group size: one traveler
- There is an age limit for Gorilla trekking which is 15 years
- Get yourself into shape pre-departure as the trek involves hiking in difficult terrain!
- Keep healthy pre-departure and treat airborne diseases and illnesses like coughs and the flu. This is because the gorillas and chimps are very susceptible to human illness (remember they are our relatives) and if you are seen to be suffering from these illnesses you will not be allowed to trek. In this instance refunds cannot be guaranteed. Click 'Ask a Question' to speak to the operator about this.
- Refunds: 60 days or more prior to arrival = refund 90%; 59 – 32 days prior to arrival = refund 75%; 31 – 8 days prior to arrival = refund 50%; 7 – 3 days prior to arrival = refund 25%; 48 hours or less prior to arrival = no refund.
- Airport transfers
- Transportation with a 4x4 tour car
- English speaking professional tour driver
- Drinking water in the car throughout the trip
- All meals
- One gorilla permit per person
- One Chimpanzee permit per person
- All park fees and taxes
- Visa fees
- Porter fees
- Premium drinks i.e. alcohol
- Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
- Expenses of a personal nature (souvenirs, phone bill, laundry etc)