8-Day Uganda's Primate Safaris & National Park

Day 1: Welcome to Uganda!
You will be picked up from the airport by a representative. He will transfer you to your hotel. You will meet your driver/ guide tomorrow morning when he picks you up from your hotel.

Depending on the time of your arrival, you may be able to explore the sites in and around Kampala. Activities today are at your own costs.

You will stay in a nice lodge with beautiful views on Lake Victoria. The hotel has cozy safari style furnished rooms, equipped with satellite TV, fridge bar, telephone, fan, balcony with lake-view and a comfortable bathroom.

Accommodation: Cassia Lodge

Meal Plan: No meals included

Day 2: Fort Portal/ Kibale Forest
Today you will drive to Fort Portal in western Uganda. The route is incredibly scenic, passing through tea plantations and the lush green countryside which characterizes so much of Uganda. The last hour of the journey will take you through dense forest and sounds of the wild.

You will be staying at a wonderful lodge, just outside the town of Fort Portal. You can spend the late afternoon relaxing at the lodge, from which there is a lovely view of the forest and its wildlife.

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner 

Day 3: Chimpanzee Tracking
Kibale Forest National Park boasts the highest number of primate species in the world, including our delightful cousins, the chimpanzees. Today, in Uganda, there are approximately 5,000 chimpanzees in the wild, which makes it a perfect place to spot them!

An experienced forest ranger will take you chimp tracking in the morning or afternoon. You might also see other monkey species that live in this tropical forest. Once located, you will spend a full hour with the chimps. 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.

Your 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!

Optional: Chimpanzee Habituation tracking:

At an additional fee of only $70 us dollar pp, you do the chimpanzee habituation tracking instead of the regular chimpanzee tracking. This will take all day and you will be 100% sure to have a very close encounter with your closest relatives. Book this in time because only 6 persons per day are allowed to go. Your swamp walk can be postponed to the next morning.

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp

Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner

Day 4: To Queen Elizabeth N.P.
In the morning, you can relax at your lodge, make a crater lake hike or visit a nearby tea plantation, where you will be able to assist the tea pickers and learn about how leaves are selected for the highest quality (All activities of this morning are at your own cost). You will then continue your journey to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Queen Elizabeth National Park 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 the park 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.

In the late afternoon you will go for a game-drive into the park.

Marafiki Safari Lodge is located on a unique location and has been designed and handcrafted using local materials, fitted by artisans from the local community.

Overlooking Lake George in the Queen Elizabeth National Park it offers private safari tents on raised wooden floors and canvas walls that can be rolled up to allow you to sit comfortably watching the Savannah Plains with breath taking views across the Park and the Rwenzori Mountains. Watch wildlife from your verandah and fall asleep to the roaring of Lions on the distant savannah. This truly is Africa!

Accommodation: Marafiki Safari Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner

Day 5: 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 time to see the first rays of light. You will search for all the wildlife in the park and are likely to come across Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Waterbuck, Leopard, Uganda Kob, and many Warthogs.

A well-deserved brunch will be served back at the lodge in the late morning.

In the afternoon you will take a boat safari along the Kazinga Channel which joins Lake George and Lake Edward.

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: Marafiki Safari Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner

Optional activity: Hot Air Balloon Safari

Experience the wildlife of Queen Elizabeth np in a new, unique way. Wake up early to catch the sunrise, as you silently fly over the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Admire the herds of buffaloes, elephants and enjoy the serene tranquility of the African bush…

You will take off early at dawn for a flight that lasts for approximately 1 hour. Rise as the sun rises and float in whatever direction the winds of the morning takes you. Fly higher than the trees and hills and enjoy the best of Uganda, with many great photo opportunities of the scenery and wildlife below.

After a smooth landing you can celebrate this amazing adventure with a glass of sparkling juice before returning to your lodge to continue your safari.

Costing: $380 us dollar p.p.

Optional activity: Lion Tracking:

For visitors who yearn to get up close to wild African fauna, a research trip is a rewarding adventure. This new and unique experience allows visitors to actively participate in monitoring some of lions in the park, using locator devices and learn habituation calls, as well as monitoring weather, surroundings and behavior. The results are added to researchers’ databases, contributing valuable information to the overall understanding of wildlife ecology - and helping to conserve this wonderful ecosystem. This will as well gives you a 95% chance to see the lions!

The number of people on each outing is limited in order to reduce stress on the animals and to increase the quality of the experience for visitors.

Costing: $85 us dollar p.p.

Optional activity: Chimp tracking Kyambura Gorge

The spectacular Kyambura Gorge, also called the “Valley of Apes”, is located in the eastern corner of Queen Elizabeth. The landscape is among the most impressive you will find in Uganda. Enter into the Gorge and you will be marveled by the verdant, rich Tropical Rain-forest right close to the Equator crossing. You can make a wonderful hike here looking for chimpanzees. Chances of seeing chimps are 50% and that is why we rather call it a nature walk. Don’t miss it; the gorge is simply amazing!

Costing: $50 us dollar p.p.

Day 6: To Lake Mutanda/ Bwindi Forest
Today you drive to Lake Mutanda in the south-western part of Uganda; close to the borders with Rwanda and Congo. You cross a beautiful part of the country often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Africa’. You will pass the country-side, bamboo forest and have great views over the Virunga Mountains. For lunch you stop at a local restaurant (not inclusive).

Your comfortable lodge is overlooking Lake Mutanda and the Virunga volcanoes on the border with Rwanda. This will undoubtly be one of the most spectacular views you have ever seen!

From here you will depart tomorrow for the gorilla tracking so it is best to get a good night's sleep.

Accommodation: Mutanda Lake Resort

Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner 

Day 7: Gorilla Tracking
Today is the big day… prepare yourself for an encounter with one of Bwindi’s gentle giants: the rare mountain gorilla. For most people this is the absolute highlight of their tour in Uganda.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest boasts both mountain gorillas and chimpanzees - the only forest in Africa which can make this claim, in fact. It also hosts five other species of primate, 113 species of mammal, over 200 butterflies and 360 birds. En route to the gorillas, your guide will point out signs of previous gorilla activity, including dung, nests and chewed bamboo shoots.

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.

The time taken to track the gorillas can be as few as 2 hours to as many as 7 hours. Your track will be an exciting journey along forested slopes, entwined vines, bushes and bamboo before you eventually reach the gorilla family. 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: Mutanda Lake Resort

Meal Plan: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Day 8: Back to Kampala/Entebbe
After an early breakfast 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.

Accommodation: Not included

Meal Plan: Breakfast

Fly out via Kigali

Instead of driving back to Entebbe, you can also fly out via Kigali, Rwanda. The drive to Kigali is only 4 hours from Mutanda, so that gives you a shorter drive and some extra time at Mutanda Lake Resort or some time to explore Kigali!

Please note that Transfer, activities in Kigali and accommodation in Kigali are not inclusive in the program. If you would like us to book one (or more) nights in Kigali, please let us know.

Accommodation: Not included

Meal Plan: Breakfast