15-Day Big Five Safari Gorilla , Chimp and Wildlife

This gorillas and Rwenzori expedition take you on the ultimate journey to discover Uganda’s gorillas, and chimpanzees as well as the fabled Rwenzori mountains. You will get to meet the gorillas and chimps in their natural habitat, as well as climb to the rooftop of Uganda at the peak of the Rwenzori mountains. From the magic of looking into the eyes of a big silverback gorilla to conquering the toughest climb in Africa, your adventure will be one that a few have been lucky to live and experience.

15 days

Day 1

Arrival at Entebbe International Airport

Have a meet and greet at Entebbe International Airport where your Ugandan adventure safari starts with our representative who will warmly welcome you and facilitate seamless arrival formalities. You will then be transferred to your hotel where you will be briefed about your adventure safari.

Depending on the time of arrival, you are advised to have your money changed on this day. If time allows, you may go for the city tour with the help of our driver/guide. Visit the shopping malls around town and craft villages to get items that you may need while upcountry.

Accommodation: Papyrus Guest House
Meal Plan: Bed and breakfast.

Day 2

Murchison Falls National Park

After your early morning breakfast, drive northwest to Murchison Falls National Park. You may stop over at the Rhino Sanctuary for an optional opportunity to trek rhinos at an extra fee of $45 per person. There are 15 rhinos that were reintroduced after their extinction in the 1970s through poaching. A local ranger guide will lead you on foot to an up-close encounter with the rhinos and it may take about 1 and a half hours. Proceed to Masindi Town for lunch at your own expense and later continue to Murchison Falls National Park, arriving at your lodge late in the afternoon.

Accommodation: Fort Murchison
Meal Plan: Full board.

Day 3

Game Drives and Launch Cruise

Arise very early in the morning for your game drive on the northern bank of the River Nile in your open-roof vehicle which will give you an excellent opportunity to view and photograph the diverse wildlife. Your guide will help you spot elephants, lions, Cape buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffes, hartebeests, waterbucks, oribis, bushbucks, bohor reedbucks, hyenas and if you are lucky, the leopard.

After lunch, go for a boat cruise upstream the calm Victoria Nile to the base of the falls stopping just a few meters from the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’. Marvel at the schools of hippos and crocodiles and over the 17km stretch, you may see elephants, waterbucks and Uganda kobs. This is also the zone of many birds, species like the Goliath heron, Egyptian goose, pelican bee-eater, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork.

Accommodation: Fort Murchison
Meal Plan: Full board.

Day 4

Kibale Forest National Park

After your morning breakfast, carry a packed lunch from the lodge and begin your journey to Kibale Forest National Park. Drive south via Hoima to Fort Portal through the verdant countryside passing through traditional homesteads, farms and tea estates. You will arrive at your lodge late in the afternoon. Check-in at your lodge for dinner and an overnight stay.

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp
Meal Plan: Full board.

Day 5

Kibale-Semiliki National Park

Depart early after breakfast for the hot springs tour. Enjoy a full day pursuing the Semliki Valley Wildlife Reserve. The park is dominated by the easternmost extension of the great Ituri Forest of the Congo Basin. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and bio-diverse forests; one of the few that survived the last ice age, 12-18,000 years ago. Your guide will point out and explain the park’s diversity of wildlife, flora and fauna. The Sempaya hot springs are Semliki’s most famous attraction. There’s a “male” spring, known as Bintente, measuring 12m in diameter and is set in a lush swampy clearing. The “female” spring Nyasimbi, meaning "the female ancestors”, is a boiling geyser (103°C) that spurts bubbling water and steam up to two meters high, the steam cloud can be seen from as far as 2km away. Local residents used to cook their food in these boiling pools.

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp
Meal Plan: Full board.

Day 6

Chimp Trekk in Kibale

After breakfast at your lodge, transfer to the starting point of your chimpanzee tracking experience in Kibale National Park, which is reputed to have the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. The most famous of its 13 species is the chimpanzee, man’s closest relative. Kibale’s 1450 chimpanzees represent Uganda’s largest population of this endangered primate.

After lunch, head to Bigodi for an optional afternoon swamp walk at an extra fee of $45 per person. Bigodi was established by a local development organization to protect the 4sq km Magombe Swamp that's home to around 200 species of birds (highlights include papyrus gonolek, white-winged warbler and great blue turaco).

Accommodation: Kibale Forest Camp
Meal Plan: Full board.

Day 7

Kibale -Queen Elizabeth National Park

After breakfast at your lodge, you'll proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park following the mystical Rwenzori Mountain Range. Your expert driver guide will take you through the game park where you might spot some animals.

Upon arriving at your lodge, you will enjoy a hot lunch and later in the afternoon, take a unique 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel into Lake Edward. This trip passes through possibly the highest concentration of hippos and this launch/cruise offers an excellent platform for photography, bird watching and game viewing. The prolific bird life is colourful and stupendous, with well over 550 resident species.

Accommodation: Bush Lodge
Meal Plan: Full board.


Day 8

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Queen Elizabeth National Park’s diverse ecosystem of grassy plains, tropical forests, rivers, swamps, lakes and volcanic craters is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife. Have an early morning game drive where you have an opportunity to view the massive Rwenzori as a backdrop. This provides excellent opportunities to spot lions, leopards, giant forest hogs, Cape buffalos, elephants, defassa waterbucks, Uganda kobs, topis and bushbucks. The game drives and the boat trip (taken prior) are memorable methods of discovering a vast array of Ugandan wildlife. Be sure to have your camera ready for these amazing sightings!

Have an afternoon optional nature walk at an extra fee of $30 per person to the bat and hunters cave where we take a close look at the bats, rock python and forest cobras. The same walk will provide a chance of seeing birds, primates, tree species, etc. Return to the lodge for dinner and your last overnight stay.

Main Destination:

Queen Elizabeth National Park

Accommodation:

The Bush Lodge (Banda)

  • Mid-range banda located just outside Queen Elizabeth NP

Meals & Drinks:

  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 9

Ishasha Tree-Climbing Lions

After your early morning breakfast, pack your bags up and transfer to Ishasha Plains, a sector in Queen Elizabeth. Enjoy the wilderness and its inhabitants that are highlighted by Uganda’s tree-climbing lions as well as numerous birds and more mammals. Dinner and your overnight stay will be at River Ishasha.

Main Destination:

Ishasha Sector (Queen Elizabeth NP)

Accommodation:

Enjojo Lodge (Cottage)

Day 10

Queen Elizabeth National Park - Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After your early morning breakfast, pack your bags and drive through Ishasha plains for your final visit with the tree-climbing lions and other wildlife. Head out of Queen Elizabeth National Park and into Bwindi. The drive takes you through the 'Switzerland of Africa' area known as the Kigezi Highlands with its terraced hillside and winding roads to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You will be arriving in the evening.

Accommodation: Gorilla Valley Lodge
Meal Plan: Full board.

Day 11

Gorilla Trekking

After an early breakfast, depart to the starting point for a briefing about your gorilla trekking adventure after which you will be led by experienced gorilla trackers on the slopes of the volcanoes. You will start from the site where the gorillas were encountered the day before and from here, gorilla tracking begins. Although the hike can be physically demanding, the anticipation of the exciting experience ahead is amazing, and the beauty of the gorilla forest and its inhabitants are fascinating. One of Africa’s major highlights is when you encounter these gentle apes. It is a humbling experience to stand just meters from man’s distant cousins as they eat, rest, play and bond with their young ones.

Accommodation: Gorilla Valley Lodge
Meal Plan: Full board.

Day 12

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park - Lake Bunyonyi

After breakfast, drive to Lake Bunyonyi which has breathtaking scenery. Spend the night overlooking Uganda's deepest lake, where you may try your hand at paddling a dugout canoe or eating freshwater crayfish.

Accommodation: Bunyonyi Overland Resort Hotel
Meal Plan: Full board.

Day 13

Lake Bunyonyi-Lake Mburo National Park

After breakfast at 8.00 am, you will travel to Lake Mburo National Park, the smallest national park in Uganda. Though small, it has a lot to offer! Centred on a series of swamp-fringed lakes, its birdlife is very rich.
You will arrive at the lodge in time for lunch. Later in the afternoon at 4:00 pm, enjoy the boat ride on Lake Mburo and get quite close to the crocodiles and hippos. As you return to your lodge, you may have an evening game drive.

Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock
Meal Plan: Full board.

Day 14

Bush Walk in Lake Mburo-Entebbe

After breakfast, have a safari walk under the escort of an armed ranger. The kopjes are particularly interesting with the camouflage klipspringers and topis. Due to cattle herding in the area, it is amusing to see zebra grazing alongside the long-horned Ankole cattle peaceably. It is exciting to approach wildlife at such close range.

Later drive to Entebbe with a stopover at the Equator for a water experiment. Here, you will also have an opportunity to stand in 2 hemispheres at the same time. Take some photos, then have another stopover at the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers where you will be able to watch the ceremonial drums being crafted using methods passed down through generations. You'll be arriving at Entebbe in the afternoon.

Accommodation: Papyrus Guest House
Meal Plan: Bed and breakfast.

Day 15

Mabamba Swamp Shoe Bill Trek-Departure

You will be picked up in the morning depending on where you are staying in Kampala or Entebbe. Drive to Mabamba in Buwaya which is about a 1-hour drive, longer if we go birding along the way. Cultivations, gardens, marshes and bushlands that we drive past can provide some good bird sightings.
On arrival our boatman and site guide shall be waiting, we will immediately get into the motorized wooden boats/canoes and begin exploring the water channels to find the shoebill as first priority. The search will go on to find the shoebill. Local fishermen who go out at dusk may help provide information if they spotted the shoebill.
After spending time with the shoebill, you will then transfer to the airport.

Affordable Tour Rates

Rates are per person and exclude international flights from/to your home country.
This tour accepts children who are 3 years and older. Children under 16 receive a discount.

  • Park fees(For non-residents)
  • All activities(Unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation(Unless listed as upgrade)
  • A professional driver/guide
  • All transportation(Unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • Meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinks(As specified in the day-by-day section)

  • International flights(From/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips(Tipping guideline US$10.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items(Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • Government-imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
  • Some meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)

$6,710

Methods of Payment

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