Uganda Gorilla trek Safari | 8 Days

8 Days Uganda Gorilla Trek Safari - Mountain Gorilla Tracking

From $3995
2pax: per person sharing

Visiting: Lake Victoria Mabamba Bay, Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth, Kibale Forest NP

What to Expect

  • Fly to Bwindi national park
  • Trek to encounter Gorillas in the jungles
  • Trek to See chimpanzees in the wild.
  • Meet overwhelming species of monkeys.
  • Watch colourful birds on Kazinga channel.
  • Bigodi swamp walk & Reconnect with locals.
  • Explore Uganda’s natural diversity
  • Spot tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth NP.
  • 2nd gorilla trekking possible but optional

Route Map

Uganda Gorilla trek Safari  – 8 days

This Uganda Gorilla trek Safari  takes you to Bwindi impenetrable national park home of mountain gorillas to experience a magical hour with these giant apes. Uganda is much more than gorillas; Check out fascinating Shoebill on a canoe ride, Uganda’s most sought-after bird. Like all birds, shoebills are a descendant of dinosaurs, view Rwenzori Mountains. You will check off amazing birds, wild animals on a boat ride on Kazinga channel across the rift valley. Complete your Uganda journey by coming face to face with Chimpanzee in Kibale forest and an overwhelming 13 primate’s species. Enjoy  insightful community life & farm life experiences. The most unique and incredible wildlife encounters await you on this trip of a lifetime through the Pearl of Africa..

Things to know.

Minimum gorilla tracking age is 15 years. A maximum of 8 people are permitted to visit a family of gorillas at one time/daily, so it’s likely on the real trekking day, you will be joined to other guests to make group of 8. If you’re travelling as a group larger than 8.  You will be split across different but equally amazing families. Maximum time allowed with the gorilla family will NOT exceed One hour.

It is a requirement to have a gorilla permit before you are allowed on a Gorilla trek.   **Gorilla permits are 100% non-refundable.

Is this trip for you?

This is moderate adventure for people who love primates, want up-close encounters. You should be comfortable with;

  • Driving on rural roads connecting to the park which are sometimes rough, bumpy & dusty.
  • Having an armed park ranger with AK47 with you all times on the trekking.
  • Walking/trekking on uneven terrain for 2 to 6 or even 8 hours roundtrip.
  • Gorillas can sometimes be moving frequently, forest vegetation can at times obstruct visibility, and hence taking photos of these creatures can be very challenging!
  • Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous walks, but accessible to most healthy travellers including those over 75 years.

Activity level is moderate demanding: Gorilla trekking can be a physically strenuous activity. Trekking takes place at altitudes between 1160 to 2607m (3806 to 8553ft) above sea level. moderate physical fitness is required. The slowest member will be on the front and determines the groups’ speed. The walking pace will be moderate, with plenty stops to rest, ask questions, re-hydrate and enjoy the forest and views.

To ease your walking, hiring a local helper (porter) is recommended. Porters are hired at a small fee ($15) to carry your backpack along the path. All hired from local villages and not only can carry your day pack, but assist you with a welcome hand over difficult spots. Regardless of your fitness level, we highly recommend hiring a porter as some tracks can be very muddy and elevation can affect even the most fit person.

Uganda Gorilla trek Safari – 8 Days

Day 0: Arrival at Entebbe Airport.

Arrival at airport, meet with our representative  at Entebbe airport. You will be transferred to your hotel.

Day 1: Lake Victoria – Mabamba Bay.

Activities:  Shoebill canoe birdwatching

Meet your private guide at your hotel, transfer by private car to Mabamba bay on Lake Victoria . You will pass by townships and local suburbs on mixed surfaced and fairly maintained dirty roads, arriving at Mabamba bay landing site. An hour’s drive from Entebbe city to Mabamba bay – a massive papyrus swamp.

Canoe ride: You will board wooden boats with engine and there after traditional peddle canoeing in search of mainly the Shoebill which usually hides in the mash to looking for fish. Getting on a motorized canoe in search for this pre-historic bird is a great experience. Recent sightings indicate Mabamba boasts of 9-15 shoebills and is a must-visit place for birder lovers who come to Uganda.

At2424hectares, Mabamba swamp is one of the few remaining on Lake Victoria. Mabamba swamp is characterized by small channels of marsh-filled water and lagoons and is a habitat to the shoebill. After you will transfer back to your hotel. Duration: 3-4 hours.

Day 2: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Early breakfast at your hotel and  transfer to Entebbe airport for flight to Kihihi/Kisoro with Aero-Link. Departure Entebbe: 07.00 Departure Entebbe: 07.00 am (check in latest at 06.30 am, 1 hour before your flight departure)
Arrival Kihihi: 09.15 am / Arrival Kisoro: 08:35 am
On arrival at Kihihi/Kisoro airstrip you will be picked up by our representative or staff of lodge you are staying at. You will be transferred in about 1 hour to the lodge.
Journey time: Flight in the morning or afternoon/transfer to lodge 1½ hours.
You will transfer by road to your accommodation at a Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

  • Road type: Both Paved and rough sections, dirt in Nat park.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Gorilla Trekking.

Activities: Gorilla trekking.

Breakfast and take a short transfer to Bwindi NP office. Depending of gorilla permits booked, our guide transfer you to one of the following three gates of Bwindi impenetrable national park – The home of Mountain Gorillas in Uganda: Buhoma or Rushaga/nkuringo and or Mgahinga gorilla gate. Here you will meet up with excellent local rangers and trackers, who will give a talk on the etiquette of gorilla trekking. Thereafter, hike into the forest with your packed lunch.

An advance party of rangers (known as trackers) will have gone ahead into the forest to locate where the gorillas slept the previous night and will have begun to track their movements. These trackers will keep communicating with your head guide via a radio talkie and the trek into the forest will begin.

HOT TIP: Hire a porter at the briefing point. Your porter will carry your backpack and help you as you traverse the forest and is so completely worth it. You’ll be supporting a local family and this allows them to continue being part of community gorilla protection cooperation, which is essential in Mountain gorilla conservation. After this exciting experience, it’s time to relax at the lodge and view your photos.

  • In Bwindi NP (Uganda), there are 23 habituated gorilla families that can be viewed by tourists.
  • In Mgahinga NP (Uganda), there is 1 habituated gorilla family for tourist viewing.
  • Each of the families can be visited by a maximum of 8 people daily and the viewing lasts only 1 hour.

The trekking can take from 2 to 8 hours round trek and climb to altitudes in excess of 7,500 feet.  After finding gorillas, you will spend a maximum of 1 hour viewing them. The terrain can get tough and at times muddy.  Although the hike is physically demanding the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery make the trekking worthwhile. Once the gorillas are located all fatigue is forgotten, as the experience is often described as being the most profound natural history experience in the world. It can rain at a few minutes’ notice; hence waterproof clothing is a good essential including zip lock bags for cameras.  It is important to take plenty of water. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner included.

Day 4: To Queen Elizabeth National Park – Ishasha Section

Activities: Road Transfer & game drive.

Today morning we transfer to Queen Elizabeth National park via Ishasha.

You will drive  to  the southern sector of Queen Elisabeth National Park NP via Ishasha (3 ½ hours approx.),  where you will have game drive in search of the famous tree-climbing lions and the large herds of game. There are chances of finding lions in the trees by the trail head. Please note that our guide and ranger will maximise all regular hot spots to increase chances of sighting. You will again head out for evening game drive with a sundowner.

You will check in at your lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5: To Queen Elizabeth National Park – North Sector – Boat cruise safari

Activities:  Road transfer & Boat cruise safari on Kazinga Channel at 2pm

Today early morning we’ll transfer to North Kazinga on time for  2pm boat ride on the Kazinga Channel (2 hours approx.). Look out for the hippos, great herds of buffalos, and lots of water birds by the channel side. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing.

The park is home to over 95 mammal species and over 600 bird species. Time permitting head out a 2-hour evening game drive . look out for the lions, buffalos, elephants, and large numbers of Uganda Kobs, waterbucks and other antelopes. Our guide will transfer you to  your lodge.

  • Road type: Both Paved and dirt in Nat park.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6: Transfer to Kibale Forest National Park

Today we transfer  to Kibale Forest National Park. We look out for spectacular crater lakes around this route. We check into the lodge. There is a good forest walk in search for primates around the lodge.

Drive distance and time: 110 Km, 2.5 hrs

Accommodation at the Edge of Kibale Forest park.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7:  Kibale Forest National Park – Chimpanzee Tracking

Activities: Chimpanzee tracking & Bigodi wetland Sanctuary Community Walk

Today you will head out for chimpanzee tracking in Kibale forest national park. This activity can take between 2 to 4 hours.

In Kibale forest you will find one of the largest populations of chimpanzees in Africa – about 1450 individuals. Today you will do Chimpanzee ‘tracking’.

Chimpanzee walking time: 2 to 4 hours.

What to carry: Remember to carry bottled drinking water, rain gear, and walking/hiking boots plus backpack.

It will be perfect opportunity to listen to the chimps as the grumble and feed. Only one community is allowed to be visited by tourists. Chimpanzees live in communities. Each community has a complicated social structure. The big adult males dominate the group and defend the community territory against other male intruders; the females usually wander in small family groups. Rangers locate the chimps by listening for their pant-hooting calls, following their eating trails.

Along the way, your guide will explain more about the forest and other inhabitants, including primates and birds such as the blue breasted Kingfisher, black billed Turaco, Pied Hornbill, Chestnut winged Starlings and many more.

Upon sighting the chimpanzees, you will stay with them for one unforgettable hour as they continue their daily routine – growling, grooming, feeding, taking care of the young ones and effortlessly climbing up trees. It certainly is one unforgettable wildlife encounter and the hour is always over too soon.

At 3pm you will continue exploring Bigodi swamp & community in a village walk (2 hours). The guided circular trail through the swamp is also one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa as well as offering a realistic opportunity to see up to six different primate species in a space of a few hours. This walk is excellent for viewing bird life and seeing primates at close quarters. Search for other primates including: I’hoestes, red colobus, blues, red tailed and gray – cheeked mangabey, bird species like the Great blue Turaco, bees’ eaters and many more. Experience how primates and birds live with the community, amazing farm life experiences; basket weaving, farm life, Coffee tour.

Day 8: Transfer  & Fly to Entebbe AirPort.

Today our guide will transfer you  to Kasese airstrip where you take a local internal flight – 1 hour back to Entebbe Airport for your outbound international flight.

Alternatively, today early morning, if you want to explore road adventure you could choose to be transferred  by road to Entebbe.

Drive distance and time: 350 Km, 6 hrs Road type: Paved all the way.

  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

End of tour service

Price Includes

  • Park Entrances
  • Guides in the park
  • Transfers
  • 4WD Toyota Safari vehicle transportation
  • English speaking driver guide.
  • Accommodation in self-contained rooms
  • 1 Shoebill canoe ride on Lake Victoria
  • 1 boat cruise on Kazinga channel, Queen Elizabeth
  • 1 Game drive in Lake Mburo NPK
  • 1 Game walk in Lake Mburo NPK
  • 1 Game drive in Ishasha, for Tree lions
  • 2 Game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park
  • 1 Bigodi swamp & community walk
  • 1 chimpanzee tracking permit
  • Full Board (Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch as on indicated on itinerary)

Price Excludes

  • Air ticket.
  • Drinks
  • Uganda Visa.
  • Porters on trekking
  • Gorilla permit (we arrange it for you)
  • Tips to driver/guides.
  • All optional activities
  • Any meals not indicated on itinerary
  • Items of personal nature, entertainment, any other optimal activity
  • Optional Local flight from Kasese airstrip
DayDestination ComfortPremium
0Arrival – Entebbe
1 –Lake Mburo NPKRwakobo RockMihingo Lodge
2Bwindi NPK
  • Ichumbi G. Lodge
  • Ride4woman
  • 4 Gorillas Lodge
  • Trackers lodge
3Bwindi NPK
  • Ichumbi G. Lodge
  • Ride4woman
  • 4 Gorillas Lodge
  • Trackers lodge
4Queen Elizabeth NPKEmbogo LodgeIshasha Wilderness
5Queen Elizabeth NPKBush LodgeKatara lodge
6Kibale Forest NPKKibale Forest CampChimpundu lodge
7Kibale Forest NPKKibale Forest CampChimpundu lodge
8To Entebbe – Departure

Meals-Full Board: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included

Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour can be arranged for extra cost!

Lodging mentioned depends on availability of rooms at the time of booking. Reservations will only be made after your confirmed booking with us.

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