10 Days Uganda Wildlife Safari With Mountain Gorilla Trekking Tour
The 10-day Uganda wildlife safari with mountain gorilla trekking tour starts and ends at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda. This is one of Africa’s most exciting and adventurous jungle safaris that promises you the most unique and magical wildlife, primate, and cultural experiences that are filled with back-to-back fun.
This African safari to Uganda was planned to give you an unforgettable wildlife experience and an ultimate primate experience, such as meeting eye-to-eye with the magical gorillas and chimpanzees fully in their natural habitat, getting a close encounter with other diverse African wildlife species such as leopards, lions, elephants, and cape buffaloes, several primate species, many antelope species, beautiful landscapes, visiting several ancestral places such as the Igongo cultural center for amazing African culture, and if you are a keen bird lover, this is an ideal safari to spot several African bird species.
The 10-day Uganda safari will take you to the most interesting destinations in Uganda, such as Ziwa rhino sanctuary for the rhino tracking experience, Murchison Falls national park where you will discover the renowned Murchison Falls, wildlife sighting safaris, boat cruise experiences on the Nile River, Kibale Forest national park where you will spend time with chimpanzees and several other primates, Queen Elizabeth national park for wildlife sighting, Kazinga channel boat cruise safari, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park to encounter the magical mountain gorillas, Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation, and Lake Mburo national park for game drive safari for wildlife sighting and bush horseback riding. This is an ideal tour to fully enjoy nature and to explore the abundance of wildlife species, beautiful scenery, and numerous primate species such as the miraculous mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, among others, and to see several African classics such as lions, leopards, elephants, African Caped Buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, and many others.
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Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe international airport – Meet and greet and be transferred to your booked Hotel in Entebbe
When you arrive at Entebbe International Airport, you will be met by a company representative and your professional English, French, German, or Spanish-speaking safari guide to meet and greet, and then be transferred to check in at your booked hotel in Entebbe town. Freshen up, and later meet with our company representative and safari guide at the hotel lobby to brief you about your 10-day Uganda wildlife safari with gorilla trekking tour. The hotel is about 10–20 minutes’ drive from Entebbe international airport on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Later, if time allows, drive to Entebbe botanical gardens that are found on the shore of Lake Victoria for a walking safari. Botanical gardens are home to some primates, such as Vervet monkeys, and several bird species. The walking safari will take you to the shores of Lake Victoria where you will spot some water birds, enjoy the fresh breezes from the lake as well as get used to Uganda’s beautiful nature. Lake Victoria is the largest water body in Africa and the second largest fresh water body in the world, and is shared by three East African countries (Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya). Dinner and an overnight.
Accommodation: 2 Friends Beach Hotel (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Dinner
Day 2: Entebbe town – Visit Ziwa Rhino sanctuary – Drive to Murchison falls national park – Descend the Murchison falls to the bottom – Spend the evening at leisure
Rise up very early in the morning to have breakfast (630 am), then check out of your hotel and start your adventurous road drive to Murchison Falls National Park, located in northwestern Uganda, about 320 km from Kampala. Murchison Falls National Park is famous for its Murchison falls, which are formed when the entire Victoria Nile River rushes through a narrow 7-meter-wide gap. It is estimated that each second, the equivalent of 200 bathtubs full of water is forced through a gorge and then plummets 43 meters before flowing out toward Lake Albert. On your way to Murchison Falls national park, you will visit the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, the only place in Uganda where you can encounter white rhinos in the wilderness setting.
Once, Uganda had an adequate number of rhinos which were found in Kidepo valley and Murchison Falls national parks, but they became nationally extinct due to numerous illegal human activities such as poaching and civil unrest in the early 1970s. Therefore, in 2005, the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary was established to facilitate the re-introduction of rhinos into Uganda’s wildlife inventory.
During rhino tracking, you will encounter rhinos close to their feet with the help of your site ranger guide and spend one hour with them. You will be allowed to take as many photos as you want, so you have to keep your camera on standby not to miss any great moments uncaptured. After you have had an unforgettable experience with rhinos, relax with a bottle of water and drive to Kabalega diner to have lunch, relax for some time, and then proceed with your drive to Murchison Falls national park. On arrival at the park before checking into your booked lodge, visit the Murchison falls to enjoy the breathtaking views of the whole River Nile from Lake Victoria going through a tiny gorge of only 7 meters wide that makes it violent and causes a verbal burble of the falls as they drop into a pool of water, which is so lovely and adventurous. After seeing the Murchison falls, cross the river Nile and drive to your booked lodge to check in and have a free evening till time to be served dinner and overnight.
Murchison Falls National Park is home to 76 recorded mammal species. These include; Jackson’s hartebeest, Waterbucks, Hippopotamuses, Nile crocodiles, some primates like Chimpanzees, Olive baboons, Black and white colobus monkeys, Giraffes, Uganda kobs, Elephants, Caped Buffaloes, Lions, Leopards, Spotted hyenas, Civets, Warthogs, Oribis, Topis, among others, plus 450 recorded bird species such as the rare shoebill stork, Abyssinian ground hornbill, Papyrus Gonolek, marabou stork, black-bellied bustard, and open-billed stork among others. Dinner and an overnight
Accommodation: Pakuba Safari Lodge (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast/Lunch /Dinner
Day 3: Murchison Falls national park – Morning game drive safari – Afternoon boat cruise along the river Nile – Night game drive safari experience
Wake up very early to have a cup of coffee, get your packed breakfast, and head to the northern sector of the park where superb game drive safaris are carried out. During the game drive, your safari guide will help you spot several animals and share with you a lot of information regarding various wildlife species that you will spot, such as Caped buffalo, elephants, Uganda Kobs, Jackson hartebeest, Roth child giraffes, oribis, lions, common warthogs, and some primate species. A leopard may be spotted on a lucky day. Have a short break to enjoy your full breakfast and later proceed with your game drive to fully explore the park and be able to spot several wildlife species.
Later, in the early afternoon, leave the jungle and return to your lodge to relax, have lunch, and then drive to the Paraa gathering point for an afternoon boat cruise safari on the Victoria Nile, which starts at 2:00 pm. The boat cruise safari goes upstream from the calm Victoria Nile to the base of the Murchison Falls, stopping a few meters from the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’ of the falls, which will give you an amazing view of the fall and see how the river Nile drops into a pool. The boat cruise will take you through the zones of water mammals and birds like Hippopotamus, Nile crocodiles, some birds like the Egyptian goose, goliath heron, kingfisher, pelican bee-eater, hornbill, cormorant, and you may see some land mammals when they have come to drink water. After the boat cruise drive back to your lodge, spend your evening relaxing till it is time to have dinner and then drive back to the park for your adventurous night game drive experience.
The night game drive safari is so adventurous and opens up more chances to encounter nocturnal mammals and birds of the park, such as lions, leopards, porcupines, civets, spotted hyenas, and grazing hippos, among others. These species are more active during the night hours and, on a lucky day, you may see them in the act of hunting, which is one of the greatest jungle experiences. During the night game drive safari, you will have an opportunity to encounter the nightlife of the jungle, see how animals behave at night as well as enjoy the night sounds of the jungle. Murchison Falls national park is the best savannah national park in Uganda for a night game drive. Thereafter, the game drive, drive back to your lodge for an overnight.
Accommodation: Pakuba Safari Lodge (Mid-range
Meal plan: Breakfast / Lunch /Dinner
Day 4: Murchison Falls national park – Drive to Kibale Forest national park -Bigodi sanctuary swamp and community tour
Today, after your fantastic breakfast, check out of your lodge and slowly drive through the park, across the Nile River, and then journey to Kibale Forest National Park. Kibale forest national park is famously known for its biggest population of chimpanzees, amounting to more than 1500 individual chimpanzees, and some of these are well habituated for tourism and research.
The park is also referred to as Africa’s primate capital, with over 13 primate species recorded than any national park or wildlife reserve in Africa, hence making the park a primate lover’s haven. The park is also home to East Africa’s largest populations of the threatened and rare L’hoest’s monkey and red colobus monkeys. While at Kibale Forest national park, you will see several primates such as the black-and-white colobus, blue monkeys, red-tailed olive baboons, grey-cheeked mangabeys, and over 375 species of birds.
Along the way to Kibale Forest national park, you will enjoy the spectacular views of tea estates, several forests, and the shadow of the legendary Rwenzori Mountain that forms a mystic backdrop to the beautiful volcanic landscape. Have a stopover in Fort Portal City to have lunch, move around the city on foot, and later continue with your journey to the park to check in at your booked lodge and later drive to Bigodi Swamp for a nature walk and community experience.
Bigodi sanctuary swamp is punctuated by biodiversity and lovely scenery and is a paradise for bird lovers, with over 138 bird species and eight species of primates. These include the grey-cheeked mangabey, black-and-white colobus, l’Hoest’s and blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and olive baboons, plus other mammals like bushbucks and mongooses, can also be found here.
The swamp is managed by the surrounding local community with the purpose of preserving exclusive environmental features along with the wetland for future generations. So, during this walk, you will have an opportunity to spot several monkeys and bird species. The Bigodi community walk will take you through the nearby community to interact with local people and learn how they live in harmony with wildlife species, as well as how they do their daily activities without using modern technology, such as making nice gins from bananas, delicious coffee, and arts and crafts. Return to your lodge after the walk to relax, be served dinner, and an overnight
Accommodation: Isunga Safari Lodge (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast / Lunch /Dinner
Day 5: Kibale Forest national park – Chimpanzee tracking safari – Drive to Queen Elizabeth national park – Visit Katwe salt mining community
After breakfast, meet your safari guide and transfer to the park information offices to join other guests for a briefing about the dos and don’ts to follow while looking for chimpanzees in the forest, and how to behave around chimpanzees. Then embark on your guided forest walk to search for the intelligent chimpanzees, the closest living relatives sharing 98.8% of human DNA. During your forest walk, you may encounter other wildlife species, both mammals and bird species, such as other primates, bush pigs, among others, and your guide will be able to give you a lot of interesting information about everything that you will encounter, which will make your walk so adventurous. Once you meet the chimpanzees, you will spend with them a maximum of one hour watching how they play in the tree branches, feeding and taking care of their babies and taking as many photos as you want.
After staying with chimpanzees for an hour, return to the starting point to relax, have refreshments plus lunch, and then drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park, a “medley of wonders”. Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its variety of wildlife species with over 95 mammal species, which includes four big mammals, big cats and other predators, 10 species of primates, aquatic mammals, and about 600 recorded bird species, and with the Kazinga channel, the main water stream which connects Lake Edward and George.
Before checking in at your booked lodge, visit the Katwe community, which is surrounded by the salty Lake Katwe, and whose main economic activity is extracting salt from this lake. This is one of the most famous communities due to the traditional salt mining that has been practiced since the 16th century. While at the Katwe salt mining community, you will have a chance to take part in salt mining and your local safari guide will give you information about how they have managed to maintain their salt mining activities for decades. After the community tour, drive to check in at your booked lodge to spend your evening at leisure until it’s time to have dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: Buffalo Safari Lodge (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast/ Lunch / Dinner
Day 6: Queen Elizabeth national park – Chimpanzee tracking in Kalinzu forest – Afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel – Spend the evening at leisure
After an early morning heavy breakfast, be driven to the Kalinzu forest reserve head office to join other guests for the pre-tracking briefings, be given a site guide and then start your second chimpanzee tracking safari in a different environment. The second chimpanzee trekking safari will give you a chance to encounter chimpanzees from different backgrounds and to have an extra experience of how these apes behave in different environments.
Your experienced guide will help you to stop and identify several flora and fauna species resident in this forest and give you information about everything that you will encounter.
Once you find a community of habituated chimpanzees, you will have a maximum of one hour to be with them as well as enjoy their engagements, such as jumping in the tree branches, grooming their babies, and you will be free to take as many photos as you want. After spending an hour with chimpanzees in Kalinzu forest reserve, return to the starting point to have a bottle of water to freshen yourself, drive back to your lodge to have lunch, relax and later depart for a 2-hour afternoon boat cruise safari along Kazinga channel, the main water stream which goes through the park and connects Lake George and Lake Edward. Boat cruise safari on the Kazinga Channel is one of the highly recommended adventurous activities for visitors to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The cruise will bring you very close to several mammals such as hippos, Nile crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants, and many others, plus various water birds. The fantastic experience during the 2 hour boat cruise safari along the Kazinga channel, makes it a must-do adventure for every guest to Queen Elizabeth National Park. Later, after the boat cruise safari along the Kazinga channel, return to your lodge to spend the evening relaxing. Dinner and an overnight.
Accommodation: Buffalo Safari Lodge (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast/ Lunch / Dinner
Day 7: Queen Elizabeth national park – Morning game drive – Game drive to search for the tree climbing lions – Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park
After having your tasty breakfast, get all your luggage packed in the vehicle, check out of your lodge and then drive to the Kasenyi plains found in the north eastern parts of the park for the morning game drive safari in search of wildlife species. Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably one of Uganda’s most popular national parks and an ideal habitat for classic big game such as the four mammals of the big five family of the African savannah (Lions, Leopards, Elephants, and Buffaloes), several antelope species, primates, and many others.
Your safari guide will ensure that you spot as many wildlife species as possible and give you as much information about everything that you may encounter during your game drive. After the game drive, relax and then start the journey to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park via Ishasha sector in the southern parts of Queen Elizabeth National Park for a game drive to lookout for the unique tree climbing lions, which are only found in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda with 4 prides, Lake Manyara in Tanzania with 2 prides, and Kruger national park in South Africa.
After the game drive, have lunch and proceed with the journey to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, which is famous for being home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas and one of Uganda’s oldest as well as most biologically diverse rainforests, dating back over 25,000 years with almost 400 tree species that form the huge impenetrable forest that is ever green. It is home to approximately 500 mountain gorillas, 120 mammal species such as numerous primate species, and over 350 bird species, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics, and is the ancient home of the Batwa bush people. Dinner and an overnight.
Accommodation: Bakiga Lodge (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Day 8: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park – Mountain gorilla trekking experience –Drive to Lake Bunyonyi
Day 8 of the 10-day Uganda wildlife safari with mountain gorilla trekking tour. Wake up early in the morning (0600am) to organize yourself, gather the necessary equipment for mountain gorilla trekking such as cameras, binoculars, insect repellants, and get dressed in a recommended style for mountain gorilla trekking such as long khaki or jean trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, water-proof hiking boots, a rain jacket, heavy duty gloves, and round hats.
Have a heavy breakfast, get your packed lunch boxes, get enough drinking water and meet your safari guide to be transferred to the park information offices to be briefed about mountain gorilla trekking dos and don’ts, how to behave in the presence of mountain gorillas and the expectations, be allocated a mountain gorilla family to track and meet the UWA ranger and the forest guide.
We would recommend you hire a porter to help you carry your packed bag and other items you would need during the mountain gorilla trek. After a pre-mountain gorilla trekking session, start your forest walk in search of the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. The time taken before encountering your allocated mountain gorilla family is not known, but it may be between 45 minutes and 4 hours depending on the movements and location of the gorilla family.
Therefore, you should be physically and mentally prepared to walk a long distance through the forest that is made of hills and with no clear walking trails that are only made at that particular time of tracking by your guide depending on the direction that can easily lead you to the location of the gorilla family. That is why it is recommended to carry enough water to keep you hydrated and snacks to keep you energized since you use a lot of energy when walking through the forest in search of the mountain gorillas.
Once you encounter the mountain gorilla family, the excitement of seeing the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat will outweigh the hardship you went through while searching for them. A mountain gorilla family can be made up of several members, such as the giant silverback, who is always the head and protector of the family, mothers, infants, and juveniles.
In the time you will spend with the mountain gorillas, you will get to know much about their behaviors, how they socialize and be excited by their actions, like the playful babies, mothers grooming their babies and Mr. Silverback, watching the situation silently as he is ready to protect the family from any kind of attack. You will spend a maximum of one hour with the mountain gorillas and you will be free to capture as many photos and record videos as you want to keep your great memories with the mountain gorilla family in the jungle.
After an hour with the mountain gorilla family, return to the trekking start point to receive your mountain trekking certificate in appreciation of your contribution to the conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda. Have refreshments, enjoy your full lunch, and then drive to Lake Bunyonyi to relax while enjoying a boat canoeing safari on Lake Bunyonyi. Dinner and an over-night
Accommodation: Bunyonyi Rock Resort (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast / Lunch/ Dinner
Day 9 Lake Bunyonyi – Morning boat canoeing safari – Drive to Lake Mburo national park – Evening game drive safaris
Today, wake up at your convenient time, be served breakfast, and then go for a morning boat canoeing safari on Lake Bunyonyi, which takes approximately 2 hours of exploring the lake and visiting different islands in the lake with a local canoe guide who is well experienced with the places and all the things around. Lake Bunyonyi is framed by 29 islands of varying sizes across the water, making it one of the most magical views.
Each of the 29 islands on Lake Bunyonyi has its own unique and interesting story behind it, which your local guide will narrate to you during the canoeing safari, such as the Akampene island, also known as the “punishment island,” which was used by the Biga community to punish girls who would get pregnant before official marriage by isolating them there to die as a way to teach a lesson to the rest not to make the same mistake. So, poor men who could not afford to pay the bride price would go to this island to get free wives from amongst those that could have been exiled to this island.
In an African society, it was a disgrace for a girl to get pregnant before her official marriage, and this would cause the family to lose community respect. So, this made parents be strict with their girl children as a way of protecting them. After canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi, return to your lodge to check out and start your journey to Lake Mburo National Park with a stopover at Igongo Cultural Center to have lunch, tour the museum, one of Uganda’s richest heritages with history, traditions, and lifestyle of the Ankole people and southwest Uganda that will take you centuries back into the life of the.
Thereafter, drive to the park to check in at your booked lodge and later go for an evening game drive safari to look out for wildlife species that are found in this park such as the beautiful Zebras, Impalas, Elands, Topis, other species of antelopes, Warthogs, Caped buffaloes, Giraffes relax. After the evening game drive at (0600 pm) return to the lodge to have dinner and later at 0730 pm drive back to the park for an adventurous night game drive safari to enjoy the night life of the jungle and to see how wildlife animals behave at night.
The night game drive will boost your chances of seeing the nocturnal wildlife species such as the spotted hyenas, Leopards, Civet, African rock python, Porcupine, Bush babies among others which are very difficult to see during day game drives. It is an interesting experience out at night and Lake Mburo is one of the best parks for a night game drive. Later return to the lodge for an overnight.
Lake Mburo National Park is the smallest savannah-protected area in Uganda but is highly endowed with flora and fauna and other natural features. The park has 350 recorded bird species, 68 mammal species, and 13 small lakes. Its woodland and savannah plains provide good habitats and feeding grounds for Zebras, Buffaloes, Elands, Impalas, Warthogs, Oribi, Defassa waterbuck, Leopard, Spotted hyena, Topi, Reedbuck, Hippopotamuses, Giraffes, Bush babies, Porcupines, White-tailed Bush pigs, African rock pythons, and many others.
Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock Lodge (Cottage)
Meal plan: Breakfast / Lunch /Dinner
Day 10: Lake Mburo national park – Morning horseback riding – Game drive safari – Drive back to Entebbe international airport
Wake up very early in the morning to have breakfast, have all your travel bags loaded into your safari vehicle, check out of the lodge and go for an early morning jungle horseback riding safari in the park. Horseback riding safaris in Lake Mburo National Park are without a doubt one of the most amazing activities that provide visitors with an unforgettable experience of viewing wildlife and taking a nature walk while riding a horse.
During a horseback riding safari in the park, you will have opportunities to view animals like zebras, impalas, and the shyer ones like elands, because they are curious about looking at their close relatives without black and white stripes. Horseback riding is the most peaceful way to explore the park since it does not leave any footprints behind, cause noise or air pollution as it is when using a safari vehicle, which will make you feel part of nature.
After the horseback riding safari stay in the park for a game drive safari to deeply explore this park and to have a chance to encounter high concentration of Zebras, meet the Giraffes, Impalas, Elands, African caped buffaloes, Warthogs and many other wildlife species. After the game drive safari (1100), return to the lodge to spend some time relaxing at the lodge till it is time to be served lunch, check out and then start your drive back to Entebbe town. On your way to Entebbe, you will have a stopover at the Uganda equator line located in Kayabwe, which is believed to separate the planet into two parts; the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
While at the equator landmark, you will see the water experiment, which is done to show how forces move differently on each side of the planet and to prove the difference between the two hemispheres. For example, water drains from the funnel in a clockwise motion in the northern hemisphere, whereas it drains down in an anti-clockwise motion in the southern hemisphere.
Here, the sun rises and sets rapidly, and the temperatures and weather are largely constant all year through. Take some memorial photos with one foot in the southern hemisphere and another one in the northern hemisphere, which will give you an opportunity to take a photo while standing on both sides of the world at the same time. It is also said that while standing at the equator line, your body weight is reduced by about 3 kg, so you will have a chance to prove this statement right or false. After the water experiment, have lunch and then visit some craft shops to buy some souvenirs designed entirely in Ugandan local art.
After staying at the Uganda equator for some time, proceed with your journey to Entebbe international airport to prepare for your return flight. This will be the end of your 10-day Uganda wildlife safari with mountain gorilla trekking tour.
Meal plan: Breakfast / Lunch
$3978 USD per person sharing
(Mid-range accommodation) on full board using a safari Landcruiser (4WD, air-conditioned and pop-up roof)
The package price includes
- Return airport transfers (pick up and drop off)
- Private transport for 10 days in a well-modified short safari land-cruiser that is (4×4 WD, air-conditioned and pop-up roof)
- Fuel for 10 days
- English speaking safari guide for 10 days
- Private mid-range accommodation for 9 nights on full board (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)
- Bottled mineral waters and all en-route meals
- All government applicable taxes
- All park entrance fees and all itinerary activities
- 1 mountain gorilla trekking permit per person
- 2 Chimpanzee trekking permits per person
- Rhino tracking experience at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
- Hiking safari to the top of the Murchison falls
- Night and morning game drive safaris at Murchison falls national park
- 3 hours afternoon boat cruises on the river Nile
- Bigodi sanctuary swamp evening nature walk
- 2 Chimpanzee trekking safaris (Kibale Forest national park + Kalinzu forest reserve)
- Visit Katwe salt mining villages
- Morning game drive at Queen Elizabeth national park
- Boat cruise safari on the Kazinga channel
- Game drive safari at Ishasha sector to search for the tree climbing lions
- Mountain gorilla trekking at Bwindi impenetrable forest national park (Ruhija sector)
- A visit and boat canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi
- A visit to Igongo cultural center
- Evening and morning game drive safaris at Lake Mburo national park
- 2 hours’ morning jungle horseback riding safari at Lake Mburo national park
- Visit to Kayabwe equator Landmark
The package price excludes
- International and domestic flight
- Country entry visas
- Personal travel insurance
- Extra meals and activities
- Alcoholic and other soft drinks (Soda, beer, special juice order at the lodge and wines)
- Items of personal nature/laundry/telephone charges/ souvenir shopping,
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