Chimpanzee & Gorilla Habituation Experience.

5 Days | Chimpanzee & Gorilla Habituation Experience

This 5-day tour gives you a chance to have an all day close encounter with Chimpanzees (and other primates) in a habituation experience and 4 hours up-close Gorilla Habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Highlights

  • Meet the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Park.
  • Enjoy the silence and beautiful landscape in Uganda’s most beautiful lake, Lake Bunyonyi.
  • Visit the local people and experience their local way of living.
  • Visit traditional healers village.
  • Community experience at a school for orphans - Optional.
  • Tour starts and ends Kampala/Entebbe.

Need To Know

Please note that this tour ( at the time of booking) The last day ( return transfer ) of this tour you have the freedom to choose between options; either to fly back from Bwindi or drive back on a road trip.

You might want to drive by road ( 4-5 hours) and depart from Kigali airport ( Rwanda). The choice is all yours. Please inform tour consultant at the time of booking your preferred the option.

At the time of booking in the event that the listed hotel is fully booked or room unavailable, we will do our best to inform you and book a similar hotel of the same class available.

Detailed Itinerary

Today after breakfast at 07.00 am,  our guide will pick you from your hotel  in Kampala or Entebbe (or airport if you are arriving same day before 12PM), transfer early morning to Fort portal; you pass through traditional Ugandan villages where you see native people in their farmlands, roadside  markets beaming with fresh fruits, vegetable and plenty of havests. The lush  green rolling hills will end up into viewing Uganda’s open tea plantations offering you great photo opportunities.

Drive time: 5 hours

Luxury: Kibale Guest Cottages (B,L, B)

Budget: Kibale Forest Camp, (B & D)

Today is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move with rangers and researchers to monitor and encounter chimpanzees. You’ll learn to safely observe the chimps during their daily activities, so they get comfortable with human presence without changing their natural behaviors. You will be able to experience the chimp families as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate, and breastfeed.

Guided by biologists and researchers, we will enjoy unprecedented intimate access to these wild chimps for the entire day until they build their nests at dusk.

Kibale National park is an extension of the great rainforests of central Africa. It is inhabited by three large “communities” of chimps, with over 120 individuals

In Kibale, here you will find one of the largest populations of chimpanzees in Africa – about 1450 individuals. This park has other primates; there are chances of seeing  the black-and-white colobus, red-tailed monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, blue monkeys, and olive baboons as well as the red colobus monkey and…plentiful of  forest bird life. Remember to carry water, rain gear, and walking/hiking boots plus back pack. 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.

Luxury: Kibale Guest Cottages (B,L, B)

Budget: Kibale Forest Camp, (B & D)

Today morning you will head out to  visit a nearby forested wetland that is excellent for viewing primates and other forest animals. At the edge of Kibale forest is Bigodi Wetland. This authentic eco tourism initiative of how the local community protect and live harmoniously with a habitat of over 50 bird species including Greatblue Turaco, the yellow spotted nicator, rumped tinker bird, little greenbul, green breasted pitta, the crowned eagle, black bee eater, pin tailed whydar  and 8 primate species.

Look out for  Guereza colobus monkeys, L’Hoest monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, can be seen in this walk.

Luxury: Kibale Guest Cottages (B,L, B)

Budget: Dutchess Guest House, (B & D)

Optional activities:

Crater Lakes walk:
Formed by ancient volcanic activity, the crater lakes of Uganda are located near Fort Portal, and are a great hiking option. Typical hikes take you through local villages and tea plantations, to the base of several of these incredibly serene and beautiful lakes. With the Rwenzori Mountains in the background, this is by far one of Uganda’s most peaceful and extraordinary sights, a chance to view 3 craters in one spot. Activity time: 2 hours

Cost: $30 per person

After breakfast we drive further south through stunning savannah grasslands as we head towards the breathtaking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

This includes 310 species of butterflies, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 species of mammals including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L’Hoest’s, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi’s most famous resident, the mountain gorilla.

Bwindi is a prime destination for bird- watchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine rift endemics – species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.

Luxury: Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge (B,L, B)

Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Camp, (B & D)

Our uniquely exclusive researcher-led gorilla habituation experience – 4 hour permit.

This up close encounter allows you to accompany the park gorilla habituation research team for the entire day, Once you get to meet gorillas, you are allowed to be with the gorilla family, viewing their behaviors, feeding, bonding for among for  a minimum of 4 hours.

Since regular permits only allow 1 hour, this is 4 times the amount of time spent up close with gorillas – more than any other safari operator! During this time you will be able to experience the gorilla family as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight while gazing into their big round eyes. on a lucky day you will witness mating.

These are magical moments of observing these gentle giants is a rare and moving adventure that will leave you with long lasting memories. Spending more time with them than the norm means you are assured of the best possible experience, with 4 full hours for better photography, researcher access for more questions, and enough time to experience more intimate and unusual behaviors. This is purely an  memorable experience to photograph each family member interacts with each other, as the researchers note health, behaviors.

Early breakfast before embarking on our return to Entebbe, driving down the grassed and terraced escarpments of southwestern Uganda while taking in the breathtaking sights of the hills of the region dubbed ‘the little Switzerland of Africa’. A remarkable highlight of this journey is the Equator line. look out for  cattle with ‘big horns’ on the route.

Please note that this tour ( at the time of booking) today this tour you have the freedom to choose to fly back from Bwindi or drive back on a road trip.

Journey time for flights to between Bwindi forest and Entebbe airport.
45 min transfer to Kihihi/ Kisoro & 1h10 min flight

Morning flight option
Departure time from Kihihi: 09.45 AM
Departure time from Kisoro: 09.10 AM
Arrival time in Entebbe: 11.25 AM

Please let us know if you wish us to include one (or more) nights in this tour itenerary.
Local flights are not included in tour cost, please let us know if you wish us to have them included.
You might want to drive and depart from Kigali (which is about 4-5 hours drive). The choice is all yours. Please inform your reservation tour consultant at the time of booking  your preferred the option.

To go on a gorilla trek, you need a gorilla permit/license which we can arrange for you.  We can only purchase your Gorilla permit after you have made a down-payment to us. Gorilla permits are competitive on a daily basis, advance booking is always preferred.

Please note the gorilla tracking in this itinerary can be done in Bwindi and or Mgahinga national parks. Gorilla tracking is dependent on the permits availability at the time of your booking. Gorilla permits in all parks are on a very high demand and we advise that you book them as early as possible.

  • Gorilla trekking can be strenuous activity and Minimum gorilla tracking age is 15 years.
  • What to bring: Hiking shoes/walking shoes, long socks to tuck-in long pants , rain wear, warm clothing, evenings can be cold/chilly, gloves preferably gardening type are very helpful and  insect repellant.
  • Anyone with signs of communicable diseases will NOT be allowed to track.
  • While possession of a gorilla permit is a guarantee of trekking and
  • Maximum time allowed with the gorillas will NOT exceed ONE hour, you are kindly requested to practice different modes of using your camera in different light situations. Gorillas can sometimes be moving, Forest vegetation can at times obstruct visibility, and hence taking photos of these creatures can be very challenging!

Transport:
Our standard offering is a 4WD with pop-up roof for easy safari viewing.  All passengers will have a dedicated window seat. Your driver/guide will be at your disposal for questions.

Extension:
If you want to extend your tour to one of our other destinations or if you’d like to add a few side trips to the itinerary, kindly let us know.

Difficulty:
Gorilla trekking takes place at altitudes 1160 to 2607m (3806 to 8553ft) above sea level. This means that moderate/average physical fitness is required. The slowest member will determine the groups’ speed. The pace will be moderate, with plenty stops to rest, ask questions, re-hydrate and enjoy the forest and views.

Booking and payment details:
Once you have decided to join one of our safaris, you will need  to contact us for booking form  which will include details relating to deposit and final payments etc.

Trip Price Includes:

  • Gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park ( 4 hours)
  • Chimpanzee Habituation Experience in Kibale National Park ( All day )
  • Lodging with meals indicated on itinerary.
  • Services of a good experienced English speaking tour guide/driver
  • 4×4 Transport with gas in land cruiser. All transfers.

Trip Price excludes:

  • Tips for drivers and other staff
  • Air tickets
  • Travel documentation (visas)
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Optional activities
  • Beverages other than mineral water in the car
  • Items of personal nature and entertainment

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