5 Days Mountain Gorilla Trekking And Wildlife Safari
The 5-day mountain gorilla trekking and wildlife encounter safari will take you to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for the magical mountain gorilla tracking experience, as well as Queen Elizabeth National Park for game safari, boat cruise safari, and chimp tracking.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 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 species of plants that form the huge impenetrable forest that is ever green. It is home to approximately 400 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.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is one of the most beautiful savannah national parks in Africa, the second biggest and one of Uganda’s most visited national parks. Queen Elizabeth National Park owns unmatched, beautiful crater lakes, the famous Kazinga channel, forested gorges and Savannah plains. It is home to 95 wildlife mammals, including lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, common warthogs, and various antelope species, as well as 600 bird species.
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Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe international airport – Meet and greet and be transferred to your booked hotel in Entebbe
On arrival at Entebbe international airport, you will be warmly welcomed by our customer care representative and your assigned professional English/French/Spanish/German-speaking safari guide to meet and greet, and then be transferred to your booked hotel in Entebbe town to check in, freshen yourself, and later meet your safari guide at the hotel reception to be briefed about the tour. The hotel is about 5–10 minutes’ drive from Entebbe international airport.
Later, if time allows, drive to the Entebbe botanical gardens, which 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 city –Drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park
On this day, after having a hot breakfast, with all your luggage already packed in the vehicle, check out of the hotel (0700 am) and start your drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park, located in southwestern Uganda south of the Equator. You will have a stopover at the Kayabwe equator landmark to experience water experiments that are carried out on both sides of the equator line (Northern and Southern hemispheres), showing the difference in the movement of forces on each side of the planet. After the experiment, take some memorial photos while at this international landmark, visit craft shops, have a cup of coffee to feel the natural aroma of the Ugandan-made coffee, and later proceed with your journey with another stopover at Igongo Cultural Museum to have lunch and tour the great museum, which is one of Uganda’s richest heritages with history and traditions of the Ankole people and southwest Uganda that will take you centuries back into the lives of the Ankole people. Thereafter, proceed with your journey to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, where you will arrive in the evening to check in at your booked lodge, freshen yourself, and spend your evening relaxing. Dinner and overnight.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is famous for being home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. It is one of Uganda’s oldest as well as most biologically diverse rainforests, with over 25,000 years of history and almost 400 species of plants that form the huge impenetrable forest that is evergreen. It is home to approximately 400 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. This is an ideal tour to fully enjoy nature, with beautiful scenery and numerous primate species, like the magical mountain gorillas.
Accommodation: Bakiga Lodge (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast / Lunch/ Dinner
Day 3: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park – Mountain gorilla trekking experience – Drive to Queen Elizabeth national park with a game drive at Ishasha sector to search for the tree climbing lions
Day 3 of the 5-day Uganda primate trekking and wildlife safari. Get up early in the morning (0600am) to prepare the necessary equipment for mountain gorilla trekking, such as cameras, binoculars, and insect repellants, and get dressed in the 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. After breakfast, get your packed lunch boxes and drinking water, meet your safari guide and drive straight to the headquarters. Here you will meet other guests and be briefed concerning the dos and don’ts, how to behave in the presence of mountain gorillas and the expectations, be allocated a gorilla family to track, a 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, led by the park ranger guides who are well informed and knowledgeable about these gorillas. The time taken before encountering your allocated mountain gorilla family is not known. However, it may be between 45 mins to 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 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 Queen Elizabeth National Park through the Ishasha sector in the southern part of the park to search for the tree climbing lions.
These unique tree-climbing lions are only found in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Manyara in Tanzania, and Kruger National Park in South Africa. However, Queen Elizabeth National Park is the best park to see them. After the game drive, proceed to the northern sector of the park to check in at your booked lodge for a relaxing dinner and overnight.
Accommodation: Buffalo Safari Lodge (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast / Lunch/ Dinner
Day 4: Queen Elizabeth national park – Morning game drive safari – Afternoon boat cruise on Kazinga channel – Evening game drive safari
Begin your day with a heavy breakfast, then leave your lodge and drive to the Kasenyi plains, found in the northeastern part of the park, a fascinating place for wildlife sighting games to spot several wildlife species and beautiful views of Savannah. 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, warthogs, and many others.
Game drives are one of the highlights of Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you can spot several mammals and enjoy the beautiful views of the savannah. During your half-day game drive through the Kasenyi trail, you will have a great chance to see various mammals such as Uganda Kobs, water bucks, elephants, Cape buffaloes, lions, warthogs, and several bird species. 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.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is a feeding ground for over 95 mammal species and 600 recorded birds, making it an ideal destination for a game drive. Have a short break to relax, have lunch plus other refreshments, and later depart for 2 hours’ 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 safaris on the Kazinga Channel are one of the most 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. After your boat cruise safari at 5:00 pm, return to Kasenyi plains for an evening game drive to search for more wildlife species, mostly the big cats/predators of the park such as lions, spotted hyenas, leopards, and others since they are so active during the evening hours. It is so amazing for the sunset to meet you in the jungle. After the evening game drive, you will return to your lodge to refresh, have dinner, and overnight.
Accommodation: Buffalo Safari Lodge (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Day 5: Queen Elizabeth national park – Morning chimpanzee tracking experience – Return to Entebbe International Airport
Wake up very early in the morning to have breakfast, have all your luggage packed in the vehicle, and drive to the Kalinzu forest reserve head office where you will be warmly welcomed by the site local guide, be briefed on chimpanzee tracking, and then start your forest walk to look out for chimpanzees and other primates in this forest. Kalinzu forest reserve is the second-best forest in Uganda for chimpanzee experience, with over 50 well-habituated chimpanzee individuals for visitor tracking. During chimpanzee tracking, you may encounter other wildlife species such as over 380 other primates such as Red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, L’hoest’s monkeys, Olive baboons, etc, about 261 butterfly species, 98 moths, reptiles, and flowers.
The time taken during chimpanzee tracking in Kalinzu forest reserve is not known, but it may be between 1 to 4 hours depending on the location of the chimpanzee family you are tracking. Once you encounter them, you will be allowed to stay with them for a maximum of 1 hour and are free to take as many photos as possible. After meeting chimpanzees, return to the forest offices to freshen yourself with a bottle of water and then start your drive back to Entebbe or Entebbe international airport with a stopover at the Igongo cultural museum to have lunch and then drive straight to Entebbe international airport to prepare for your return flight. This will be the end of the 5 Days wildlife and primate experience safari.
Meal plan: Breakfast / Lunch
US$1840 per person sharing in a twin room with a minimum of 6 people
(Mid-range accommodation) on full board using a safari Landcruiser (4WD, air-conditioned and pop-up roof)
The package price includes
- 1 mountain gorilla trekking permit per person
- 1 chimpanzee trekking permit per person
- Private transport for 5 days using a well-modified safari van (Air-conditioned full time, 4WD and pop-up roof)
- Professional English-speaking safari guide for 5 days
- Private mid-range accommodations on full board (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) for 4 days
- Return airport transfers (Pick up and drop off)
- All en-route meals and mineral water throughout your tour
- A visit to Igongo cultural center
- En-route stop at the Equator
- Mountain gorilla trekking safari
- Game drive safari at Ishasha sector to search for the tree climbing lions
- Morning game drive safaris at Queen Elizabeth national park
- 2 hour’s afternoon boat cruises along the Kazinga channel
- Visit Lake Katwe salt mining community
- Chimpanzee trekking safari
The package price excludes
- International and domestic air ticket
- Country entry visas
- Items of personal nature/tips/laundry/telephone charges/ souvenir shopping
- Personal travel insurance
- Extra meals and activities
- Alcoholic and other soft drinks (Sodas, special juice order at the lodge and wines)
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