7-Days Uganda Wildlife And Primate Experience Safari
The 7-day Uganda wildlife and primate experience safari starts and ends at Entebbe international airport in Uganda. This is a magical safari that promises you the most adventurous and magical wildlife, primate, and cultural experiences that are filled with back-to-back fun. This adventurous safari was planned to give you an unforgettable wildlife experience and an ultimate primate experience, such as meeting eye-to-eye with the amazing 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 centre for amazing African culture, and if you are a keen bird lover, this is an ideal safari to spot several African bird species. The 7-day Uganda safari involves a visit to Kibale Forest national park for chimpanzee tracking, Queen Elizabeth national park for wildlife sighting, Kazinga channel boat cruise safari, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park to encounter the magical mountain gorillas, and concludes with Lake Bunyonyi for relaxation. 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.
Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe international airport – Meet and greet and be transferred to your booked Hotel in Entebbe town
On arrival at Entebbe international airport, you will be warmly met by a company representative with your professional English-speaking safari guide for meet and greet and then be transferred to your booked hotel in Entebbe town to check in, freshen yourself and later meet with our company representative and safari guide at the hotel reception to brief you about your 7- days Uganda wildlife and primate experience safari. The hotel is about 10-20 minutes’ drive from Entebbe international airport.
Later, if time allows, drive to Botanical gardens for a nature walk and later visit Lake Victoria where you will spot some water birds as well as getting used to the Uganda’s beautiful nature. Lake Victoria is the largest water body in Africa and second largest fresh water body in the world and shared by three East African Countries (Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya).
Accommodation: 2 Friends Beach Hotel (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Dinner
Day 2: Entebbe city – Drive to Kibale Forest national park – Bigodi sanctuary swamp and community tour
Today, after your fantastic breakfast, have all your travel bags loaded into your safari vehicle, check out of your lodge and then start your journey to Kibale Forest National Park, which 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 have a chance to interact with local people to learn how they harmoniously live with wildlife species, take you through how they locally do their daily activities without applying modern technology, such as making nice gins from bananas, making delicious coffee, and making art 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 3: Kibale Forest national park – Chimpanzee tracking safari experience – 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 mammal and bird species, such as other primates, and 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 4: Queen Elizabeth national park – Morning game drive safari – Afternoon boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel – Evening game drive safari
Begin your day with a hearty breakfast (0600 am) and then drive to the park to spot wildlife such as Uganda Kobs, Waterbucks, Elephants, Caped Buffaloes, Lions, Warthogs, Leopards, and a variety of primates and 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. Game drive safaris at Queen Elizabeth National Park are one of the highlights of activities to explore Queen Elizabeth National Park, spot several mammals, and enjoy the beautiful views of the savannah. Later, have a short break to relax, have lunch plus other refreshments, and then drive to the Kazinga channel for the 2-hour afternoon boat cruise safari. The Kazinga channel is the main water channel that goes through the park and connects Lake George and Lake Edward. During the boat cruise safari, you will see a good number of both aquatic and land animals such as hippos, crocodiles, alligators, Caped buffaloes, elephants, and Uganda kobs, among others, and also a collection of bird species like the malachite kingfishers and pink-backed pelicans on the banks of the channel, which will be so adventurous. After your 2-hour boat cruise along the Kazinga channel, go for an evening game drive to search for more wildlife species and to enjoy the sunset from the jungle. The best time to see big cats and other predators are during evening game drives because that is when they begin to hunt. Return to your lodge to relax, have dinner, and an overnight.
Accommodation: Buffalo Safari Lodge (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast/ Lunch / Dinner
Day 5: Queen Elizabeth national park – Morning game drive safari – 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 park for a second-morning game drive safari to search for more wildlife animals, and birds. Queen Elizabeth National Park is understandably one of Uganda’s most popular national parks and an ideal habitat for classic big game such as Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffaloes, several antelope species, primates, warthogs, and many others. Game drives are one of the highlights of Queen Elizabeth National Park to spot several mammals, and enjoy the beautiful views of the savannah. After the game drive, start your drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park. On your way to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, you will do a game drive safari through the Ishasha sector in the southern parts of Queen Elizabeth National Park to look out for the unique tree climbing lions, which are only found in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda with 5 families, Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania with about two families, and Kruger National Park in South Africa. The Ishasha sector is the best destination to see them since it has many families with climbing characters and there is a higher chance to meet them. Have lunch and proceed with your drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. 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 tree species that form the huge impenetrable forest that is evergreen. 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 6: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park – Mountain gorilla trekking experience – Drive to Lake Bunyonyi
Day 6 of the 7-day Uganda wildlife and primate experience safari. Rise very early in the morning (0600 am), pack your backpack with all the recommended equipment you will need during your mountain gorilla trekking experience, such as a camera, binoculars, insect repellents. Get well-dressed in a recommended style for the best mountain gorilla trekking experience, such as long khaki or jean trousers, long sleeved shirt, water proof hiking boots, a rain jacket, heavy duty gloves, and round hats, and then meet your safari guide to drive to the park information offices to join other guests for the briefing session about how the mountain gorilla trekking experience is done, dos and don’ts, what to expect during the mountain gorilla trekking, and how to behave in the presence of mountain gorillas. The grouping and mountain gorilla family allocation will be done during the briefing, so you have to communicate with your company guide to choose a family depending on your physical fitness, since some of the families can be far from the starting point and others nearer. 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. The time you will spend with the mountain gorillas, you will get to know much about their behaviours, 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 overnight
Accommodation: Bunyonyi Rock Resort (Mid-range)
Meal plan: Breakfast/Lunch /Dinner
Day 7: Lake Bunyonyi – Morning boat canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi – Return to Entebbe international airport
Today, wake up at your convenient time, be served breakfast and then go for your 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 death 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 the lodge to check out, and then start your return journey back to Entebbe international airport to prepare for your return flight. On your way back to Entebbe international airport, you will have a stopover at Igongo cultural museum to visit the museum, which is a cultural heritage of south-western Uganda that will take you centuries back into Uganda’s culture and lifestyle of the western people, and later proceed with your journey to the Uganda Equator line, located in Kayabwe, which is believed to be separating the planet into two parts; the Northern and Southern hemisphere.
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 on the northern hemisphere, whereas it drains down in an anti-clockwise motion on the southern hemisphere. Here, the sun rises and sets rapidly, and the temperatures and weather are largely constant all year through. While at the Equator landmark, 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, visit the craft shops which sell souvenirs that are made locally and fully in Uganda art style. Later, proceed with your tour straight to Entebbe international airport to prepare for your return flight. This will be the end of your 7-day Uganda wildlife and primate experience safari.
Meal plan: Breakfast / Lunch
Package quotation: US$2560 per person sharing in a twin room with a minimum of 4 people
The package price includes;
- Return airport transfers (pick up and drop off)
- Private transport for 7 days in a well-modified safari land-cruiser (4WD, air-conditioned and pop-up roof)
- Fuel for 7 days
- English safari guide for 7 days
- Private mid-range accommodation for 6 nights on full board (Breakfast /Lunch/ Dinner)
- All en-route meals and bottled mineral water throughout your tour
- All park entrance and activities’ fees and all applicable government taxes
- Bigodi sanctuary swamp and community safari
- 1 chimpanzee tracking permit per person (Kibale Forest national park)
- A visit to Katwe salt mining village
- Morning and evening game drive safari at Queen Elizabeth national park
- 2 hours’ afternoon boat cruise along 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 to and canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi
- A visit to Igongo cultural centre
- A visit to the Equator land mark
The package price excludes;
- International and domestic flights
- Country entry visa
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of personal nature /laundry/telephone charges
- Souvenirs and gifts
- Alcoholic and other soft drinks (Sodas, special juice order at the lodge and wines)