Uganda Great Apes Safari - 7 Days

Feed your curiosity about our closest animal relatives by 'Going Ape' on this Gorilla and Chimp Safari. An encounter with Chimpanzees or gorillas gives you a personal chance to see how they actually live.

The experience is so authentic it is nothing compared to the documentaries you have seen before. On a personal level, the experience is very gratifying and rouses in you a very interesting perspective on the world and life as a bigger whole. And that is what a Safari holiday should be.

With this trip, you will spend half your time interacting with the wild, learning, watching, relating and most importantly reconnecting with your true self. There is a lot to see, a lot to partake in interesting persons along the way to make your vacation colourful and worth remembering for years to come.

Trip Highlights

  • Kampala
  • Fort Portal
  • Kibale National Park
  • Bigodi
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Kabale
  • Mbarara
  • Entebbe

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Drive from Kampala to Fort Portal

In the morning, you will meet and greet in Kampala. You will then drive to the beautiful town of Fort Portal in Western Uganda. Fort Portal is well nestled in the shadow of the Rwenzori mountains - also called the 'Mountains of the moon'.

In the afternoon, you will visit Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary to start off your tour with some mammals, birds, and 12 primate species. Bigodi is a community-led eco-tourism project that protects the swamp's ecosystem through sustainable tourism.

Bigodi is an astounding example of what can be done towards conserving fragile ecosystems. Especially in recent times when climate change is ever more important.

Highlights include seeing the rare red colobus monkey and the sitatunga (the swamp antelope).

Day 2: Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park

Today, you will explore Kibale Forest National Park in the search for primates. The main primate you will track is the Chimpanzees. 

You will also see other primate species such as l' Hoest’s, red colobus, blue, and red-tailed monkeys and grey-cheeked mangabeys and many more. Not forgetting the several other mammals and birds that also inhabit Kibale National Park.

The walk is both informative and enjoyable, with a guide providing detailed explanations on the primates, as well as other forest fauna and flora.

Day 3: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park, following the mystical Rwenzori Mountain range for much of the journey. A game drive en-route may be rewarded with views of lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, hyena, and a variety of antelope species.

In the afternoon, enjoy the unique 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. This launch cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching, and game viewing.

The launch cruise passes through one of the highest concentrations of hippos in Africa. As well, many animals may be seen drinking at the water's edge, including buffalo and elephants. The prolific bird life is colorful and stupendous with more than 600 resident bird species.

Day 4: Queen Elizabeth National Park

This day will include two game drives, offering the chance to view Queen Elizabeth National Park's diverse eco-systems of grassy plains, tropical forests, rivers, swamps, lakes, and volcanic craters, home to an incredible abundance of wildlife.

Game drives in this park, with the massive Rwenzori Mountains as a backdrop, provide an excellent opportunity to see lions, leopards, giant forest hogs, African buffalo, elephants, defassa waterbuck, Uganda kob, topi, and bushbuck.

Combined with the boat trip up the Kazinga Channel, these two game drives are memorable ways of discovering the vast array of wildlife in Uganda's most popular National park.

Day 5: Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

From Queen Elizabeth National Park, you will drive to Bwindi via Kihihi. Driving from the hot rift valley floor to the high altitude Kigezi highlands is quite the experience. From the steep (and yet cultivated) hills with winding and unwinding roads, you will surely understand why many people refer to Kigezi as the 'Switzerland of Africa'.

In Bwindi, the temperatures will be much cooler (even cold) and you will check into your accommodation. You can relax around the lodge or take a leisurely visit to the nearby communities to meet the locals and interact.

You will rest for the night as you have to wake up early the next day for gorilla tracking.

Day 6: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi

This day begins with an early morning entry into the gorilla habitat- a dramatic, steeply forested landscape. This spectacular and incredibly dense rainforest is accessed by numerous foot trails that criss-cross through the forest.

The time is taken to find the gorillas and the terrain covered will vary according to the movements of these marvellous primates. After finding the gorillas, you will spend a total of 1 hour observing, seeing and photographing the gorillas as they go about with their 'normal day'.

Other mammals that live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park include the forest elephant, black-fronted duiker, bushbuck, and giant forest hog, among others. Bwindi is also blessed with more than 300 bird species and over 350 butterfly species. All these are your 'extra surprises' as you look for gorillas.

Day 7: Drive back to Kampala

Enjoy a leisurely drive back to Kampala, with a stop in Mbarara for lunch. You will also have enough time to stop over at the Equator for some pictures and buying of souvenirs.

Trip Inclusive

  • Accommodation in the mentioned lodges 
  • An experienced English speaking Safari Guide 
  • 1 Gorilla trekking permit per person in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
  • Transportation in 4 X 4 safari vehicle.
  • Transportation to and from the areas indicated. 
  • Fuel and meals as indicated on respective days.
  • All Entrance Fees and relevant government Tax.
  • Mineral Water on the entire Safari.
  • Administration fees.

Trip Exclusive

  • All activities indicated as optional in the itinerary.
  • Airfare to and from Uganda
  • Visa to Uganda – US$ 50
  • Airport tax
  • Travel / Medical / Baggage insurance
  • All beverages [both alcoholic and non-alcoholic]
  • Any activity, meal or accommodation NOT mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips
  • Telephone bills 
  • Souvenirs, and other items of a personal nature