12 Days Uganda Chimps + Gorilla Trekking

Tracking gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, seeing gorillas in the wild has to rank among the greatest thrills in natural history.
On this safari tour, you will look for chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, see the world-famous Murchison Falls,
the Mountains of the Moon, and the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Day 1: Arrival / Entebbe

Accommodation: The Boma

When you arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB), your guide will be there waiting for you, will pick you up and you will proceed to your accommodation. Today your accommodation will be at the Boma Entebbe.

Day 2: Entebbe

Accommodation: Protea Hotel

Connect with your flight to Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Uganda and transfer to the gracious Protea Hotel.

Day 3: Murchison Falls National Park

Accommodation: Baker's Lodge

Today, you will set out on a full-day drive to the Murchison Falls National Park. You will descend the escarpment of the western corridor of the Great Rift Valley, enjoying fine views of Lake Albert. Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest protected area at 14,825 square miles. A hidden gem tucked into the corner of the country, Murchison Falls is home to many species not easily found elsewhere in Uganda. In the late afternoon, you will arrive at your home for the next three nights of this Uganda gorilla trek itinerary, Baker’s Lodge.

Day 4: Murchison Falls National Park

Accommodation: Baker' Lodge

This morning, you will explore the delta of Lake Albert by boat, searching for elephants, saddle-billed storks, and African fish eagles among other species. Most of all, watch for shoebill, which favor the reed-lined banks of these waters. One of the greatest rarities and a prize for any wildlife enthusiast, shoebills are huge birds with a massive bill, related to storks and herons.

This afternoon, you will explore the top of Murchison Falls. From here, one can really appreciate the power with which the Nile crashes through the narrow gap in the escarpment. The roar of the water and spray are astonishing, as are the views. Enjoy a picnic lunch and walking atop the falls.

Day 5 - Murchison Falls National Park

Accommodation: Baker's Lodge

Take a launch on the Victoria Nile to the base of spectacular Murchison Falls, where the full force of the Nile is channeled into a narrow gorge just 20 feet wide. Wildlife along the river is exceptional. As you cruise amongst palms, acacia woodland, and mahogany, watch for elephants, giraffes, and vast numbers of birds, including the shoebill and red-throated bee-eater, more plentiful here than anywhere else in East Africa.

Goliath heron, African jacana, pied and malachite kingfishers, various weavers, and African skimmers are also found here. These waters are home to huge pods of hippos and some of the largest crocodiles on the Nile. Lucky visitors may spot leopards and lions.

You will continue exploring the park’s northern sector, where part of the movie The African Queen was filmed. The northern section of the park is mostly grassland, interspersed with strands of palms, acacia trees, and riverine woodland. Under the leadership of highly trained naturalist guides, you will look for elephants, lions, giraffes, sitatungas, Uganda kobs, buffaloes, and a great deal more.

Days 6: Kibale Forest National Park

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp

On this day, you will travel to the Kibale Forest area, seeing beautiful, fertile land that supports a wealth of agriculture. You will traverse the foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains (the Mountains of the Moon), pass tea plantations, and reach the Kibale Forest. Kibale boasts the highest concentration and variety of primates of any forest in East Africa. Sixty species of mammals, including 13 primate species, call the 295-square mile park home.

The park is interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, but the dominant vegetation is rainforest.

Day 7: Kibale Forest National Park

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp

Today, you will walk in the Kibale Forest with skilled local guides in search of primates including chimpanzees, the star attractions. While there is no guarantee of seeing chimps, the chances are good. If you find chimpanzees, your guides hope to spend about an hour observing their social behavior. Kibale Forest is home to the largest concentration and variety of primates of any forest in East Africa, including L’Hoest’s and red colobus monkey. After the walk, you will have a special treat of enjoying a traditional lunch in a local home, visiting the village of Bigodi, seeing a school, meeting local elders, and getting insight into how the people of the area live and work.

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge

In the morning, you will visit one of the area’s swamps where there is excellent birding and where you will look for monkeys, including black-and-white colobus, red colobus, mangabey, L’Hoest’s monkey, and others. Birds of the area include some of the large, noisy members of the turaco family.

In the afternoon, you will drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, passing the eastern slopes of the Ruwenzori Mountains, the mountains of the moon. They are usually covered in clouds, but if luck you are lucky, you may see the glaciated peaks. You will arrive at Queen Elizabeth National Park and Mweya Lodge, which is situated on a peninsula overlooking Lake Edward and Kazinga Channel with the Ruwenzoris as backdrop.

Day 9: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation: Mweya Safari LOdge

Today, you will enjoy game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of Africa’s premier national parks known for its prolific wildlife. You will look for elephants, buffaloes, kobs, waterbucks, bushbucks, and predators including lions and leopards. Bird watching is remarkable, with about 600 species recorded.

You will go by lunch along the Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake George and Lake Edward, to view the large concentration of hippos. You will also visit a crater lake where salt is harvested for export to the Congo.

Day 10: Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation: Mweya Safari Lodge

In the morning, you will be driven to the less-visited Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the few places where lions regularly climb trees. You will look for them, along with a great deal of other wildlife. In the afternoon you will go to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, traversing the beautiful mountain landscapes known as the “Switzerland of East Africa.”

Day 11: Bwindi National Park

Accommodation: Mahogany Springs Lodge

This morning, you will hike in search of endangered mountain gorillas in the company of outstanding local guides and trackers. Slightly more than half the world’s mountain gorilla population resides in Bwindi National Park, estimated at 320 individuals living in 15 families. During this Uganda gorilla trek, you must walk through the forest, with their rangers and trackers, over, under, and around vegetation and almost never on a trail. There is no set time for trekking but typical treks are four hours. However, treks can be anywhere from one hour to ten hours or more.

Once located, trekkers spend a life-changing hour with these magnificent gentle giants, well worth the effort in finding them. Spending time with these majestic creatures may well be the single most rewarding natural history experience in the world. A world heritage site, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is also home to nine other species of primate, myriad bird species, including 23 species endemic to the Albertine Rift and at least 14 species recorded nowhere else in Uganda.

Among them are African green broadbill, white-tailed flycatcher, brown-necked parrot, white-bellied robin chat, and Frazer’s eagle owl. Over 200 species of colorful butterflies are found in the park and, along with lots of wonderful birds, frequenting the lodge grounds. Eight of those butterfly species are endemic to the Albertine Rift.

Day 12: Bwindi / Entebbe

Day Room: Protea Hotel

You will fly from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park to Entebbe. Day rooms are available at the Protea Hotel before you transfer to the airport for your independent flight home.