Welcome to the primate capital of the world—or so we think. Get to track the endangered mountain gorillas that call Uganda home. Then trek with the cheeky chimps, the golden monkeys, and other primates all in this one safari! Mix that with the traditional game safari of the big four and much more.
– Spend a morning with the golden monkeys on an extinct volcano
– Visit a family of the endangered mountain gorillas
– Discover the wonders on Queen Elizabeth National Park
– Go below the savannah to into the sunken rainforest of Kyambura Gorge.
– Track the cheeky chimps of Kibale National Park.
* Price includes your tracking permits!
Day 1 – Off to Uganda’s Gorilla highlands.
Day 2 – Tracking golden monkeys.
Day 3 – Mountain Gorilla tracking.
Day 4 – Tree-climbing lions.
Day 5 – Game drive and off to underground forest.
Day 6 – Into the chimpanzee capital.
Day 7 – Cultural tour and the journey back home.
Set off early to take the 9-10hrs drive up into the highlands and on to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. As you travel south, you will cross the Equator getting into the southern hemisphere 80km from Kampala. Lunch in Mbarara City right in the cattle countryside of Uganda. Thereafter continue climbing higher into the highlands with neat terraced gardens, Echuya Forest until rising over the black soils you see the extinct volcanoes of Muhavura, Gahinga and Sabinyo. Welcome to the gorilla highlands!
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, is the only Ugandan park with habituated golden monkeys. Before you go tracking, your Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guide will brief you. Over 3,000 golden monkeys live here of which about 60 are habituated for tracking. Habituation means they have grown familiar to human presence even though they still live wild.
You will have an hour with a golden monkey family getting to know and understand them.
After the trek and lunch, transfer to your accommodation at the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, another UNESCO world heritage site. Enjoy the forest sounds as you rest and prepare for next day’s mountain gorilla tracking.
This is the day that only one who has experienced it can describe. Today you get intimate and close with a family of the endangered mountain gorillas of Uganda. The tracking begins with a briefing by the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers. Your one hour encounter will allow you see be part of this gorilla family and it is important that you know what is expected of all “family” members. This magical hour will change you for life after looking into those big brown eyes of the gorillas. After the trek, spend the evening in the listening to the sounds of one of earth’s oldest rain forests.
Today you leave Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and travel to the Queen Elizabeth National Park. This route takes you through the Ishasha plains famous for the tree-climbing lions. All big cats do climb trees but for most lions around the world, this is often a once in a while activity. The iconic lions of Ishasha hang out in the shade of the huge fig trees whiling away the day in the savanna plains. Later in the afternoon go for the boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and get up close with herds of elephants, hippos, buffalo and a variety of bird species.
Wake up early for the game drive through the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Get to see the wildlife wake up for the day; track lions at the sunrise. Wild animals are out in the early morning hours to feed before retreating in the shade as the day gets hotter.
Have lunch at your accommodation and then head out to the underground forest in the Kyambura Gorge. Here you will be tracking chimps in an eco-system that is very different from the savanna up above the tree tops. Tracking chimps is only second to gorilla tracking. The Uganda Wildlife Authority has now named 24 of these chimps to ease identification during tracking. At the end of the day, climb out of the gorge and head to your accommodation for the night.
After a leisurely breakfast, head off to the Kibale National Park the chimpanzee capital. This park is most famous for the high concentration of chimps like no other place. Once there, check in and after lunch spend the afternoon with family of chimps. Your expert guide from the Uganda Wildlife Authority will share the secrets of the chimps, the plants and animals. You will also get to know the sights and sounds that make Kibale one of the loveliest and most diverse tropical forest in Uganda.
Beyond the chimps, look out for other primates like the grey-cheeked mangabey, L’Hoest’s, red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys.
You can spend an easy morning or take a tour of with a community guide. Visit Bigodi homesteads, where you will observe the ways of the people, and take a turn at traditional weaving techniques with the Bigodi women. The community around the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary has a life-changing story of how they moved from being destroyers of their environment to fierce and proud protectors. This change has allowed a once dying ecosystem to come back to life, bringing better education, healthcare and incomes.
After the tour, head for Fort Portal, and lunch before continuing to Kampala, arriving by evening.
There are several options for accommodation offering different levels of comfort and pricing. These range from budget accommodation to mid-range and high end options. Sometimes, the choice of accommodation is influenced by the activities you are interested in taking. Contact us and we will work with you to choose your ideal safari accommodations within your needs and budget.