17 Day African Gorilla Safari

The 17 day Uganda and Rwanda starts in Entebbe international Airport (Uganda) and ends in Uganda. The safari will expose you to primates like the rare mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and wildlife in game parks.

Trip Summary

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe International Airport
Day 2: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
Day 3: Boat Cruise, Chimpanzee Trekking in Kaniyo Pabidi
Day 4: Transfer to Kibale National Park
Day 5: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest
Day 6: Drive to Semliki Wildlife Reserve
Day 7: Chimpanzee Trekking at Semliki National Park
Day 8: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park
Day 9:  Chimp tracking
Day 10: Have early morning game drive
Day 11: Depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Day 12: Connect to Rwanda
Day 13: Mountain Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans
Day 14: Return to Uganda – Lake Bunyonyi
Day 15: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park
Day 16: Drive to Kampala – Jinja (Optional White Water Rafting
Day 17: Return to Kampala – Entebbe – Departure

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe international Airport

African Jungle Adventures Ltd safari guide will give you a warm welcome; brief you about your safari and thereafter, you will be transferred to Kampala for your accommodation at Kampala Serena Hotel, Cassia Lodge or Kampala lodge.

Day 2: Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park

After breakfast at your Hotel, your tour guide will pick you and transfer to Murchison Falls National Park. Enjoy the 5 hour drive to the park. You will make a stopover at Masindi town for lunch then continue through the park and stop at the top of the falls which is a fantastic sight where the world’s longest river perfects its beauty, then proceed by taking a ferry across the river to Paraa Safari Lodge or Pakuba Safari Lodge with lots of game viewing enroute, dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Boat Cruise, Chimpanzee Trekking in Kaniyo Pabidi

Breakfast and enjoy a morning boat cruise to the bottom of the falls, later connect to Budongo Forest forest for afternoon chimpanzee tracking in Kaniyo Pabidi. It is a calm area of natural forest within Budongo Forest Reserve where you move under mature mahogany and iron wood trees. It is the most famous activity when you see many forest birds, including the chocolates-backed Kingfisher, the white-thigh hornbill and puvel’s illadopsis found nowhere else in East Africa. Retire for dinner and overnight at Budongo Eco Lodge.

Day 4: Transfer to Kibale National Park

After your breakfast, we shall hit the road to Kibale National Park with your packed lunch as the drive last for about 9 hours and you will pass close to Lake Albert. Dinner and overnight at Ndali Lodge, Mountains of the moon or Chimpanzee Guest House.

Day 5: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest

Breakfast is followed by briefing by the ranger station at 08.00am to track the happy apes, which are more closely related to humans than any other living creature and are a must watch as they squabble and play the trees. Kibale forest hosts 13 species of primates including red Colobus monkey, the rare L’hoest, blue monkey, grey mangabey, pottos, black faced vervet monkeys, baboons and also bush babies. A network of shady forest trails provides much to delight botanists and butterfly lovers, while birders are to enjoy watching a variety of birds part of the 335 species recorded including the endemic Prirogrine’s ground thrush. The indescribable forest elephant, smaller and hairier that its savannah counterpart, moves seasonally into the developed part of the park, while other terrestrial mammals include buffalo, gigantic forest hog and a half dozen antelope species. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 6: Drive to Semliki Wildlife Reserve

Wake up early morning and depart by road to Semliki Wildlife Reserve; this scenic drive will take you down the eastern side of Lake Albert. Semliki reserve is situated in the basin of the Western Rift Valley. It is one of the most diverse habitats in Africa with wonderful examples of Riparian forest, gallery rain forest, borassus palm forest and short and high grass savannas. Chimps exist next to elephant, lion and buffalo as well as the usual western Uganda species. After dinner you will go on a night drive. This is the only place in Uganda where you can do a spot lit night drive. Often the big cats are sighted as well as the diminutive genet and several cats. Unusual night-time dwellers also show themselves, such as the white-tailed mongoose and slim mongoose, standard and pennant winged nightjars depending on the time of year. There are always surprises on the night drives. Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge (FB)

Day 7: Chimpanzee Trekking at Semliki National Park

Wake up early morning and have breakfast in your tent, and then go down into the beautiful gallery rainforest to track wild chimpanzees. Chimps are usually tracked by researchers in Semliki at dawn and dusk, because they tend to disappear in the middle of the day. There are also a number of bird species which are found in this forest. You will return to the lodge for lunch and relax by the pool and enjoy the harmony of the Lodge. In the late afternoon you will go for a game drive, stopping along the way to watch the African sun dip below the horizon. Overnight at Semliki Safari Lodge.

Day 8: Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Have a cup of tea/coffee, then drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park getting there via the Northern crater Area. With fine-looking lakes and rich grasslands which are set deep in the crater valley, this is truly the most astounding viewpoint in the park. The park hosts a large variety of wildlife and boasts one of the highest biodiversity ratings of any game park in the world, ranging from the open Savannah to Rain forest, thick swamps and gorgeous crater lakes to the vastness of Lake Edward. The park has over 606 species of birds like the buttonquail, martial eagle, black-rumped Verreauxâs, eagle owl and African skimmer to mention. The park’s primates comprise of Chimps, Black and white Colobus Monkeys, Blue, Black Faced Red Colobus, and Red Tailed monkeys and Olive Baboons. After checking in and relaxing briefly, you will go for an afternoon game drive where you will spot Elephants, waterbucks, warthogs, hippos and many more. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge, Enganzi lodge or Bush lodge.

Day 9:  Chimp tracking

Breakfast is followed by chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge where you will spot various primates mainly the Chimpanzee of various species, Black and white Colobus monkeys and animals like antelopes, hyenas, Lion and many more in the savanna grassland. This narrow valley is home of very many bird species. Lunch at Jacana Lodge situated in Maramagambo forest on a good-looking crater lake. Nature walk in Maramagambo Forest follows lunch and here expect to see primates and visit the bat cave and the blue lake. Return to your lodge for dinner and overnight at your lodge as on day 8.

Day 10: Have early morning game drive

Breakfast is followed by an early morning game drive in the park which will award you with an superb chance to see Cape Buffaloes, Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Giant Forest Hogs, Defassa Waterbucks, Uganda Kobs, Topi and Bush bucks and many others. Return to the lodge for lunch and thereafter, enjoy a 2-hour boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel and into Lake Edward. The cruise passes through the highest concentration of Hippos and many animals seen drinking at the water shores. This Boat has a clear platform for photography and viewing. While on the boat, expect to see a variety of bird and animals. Dinner and overnight at Mweya Safari Lodge, Enganzi Lodge or Bush lodge.

Day 11: Depart for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Breakfast and transfer to the home of mountain gorillas. However, we shall move with our packed lunch. We shall move via Ishasha sector to have a clear view of the tree climbing lions however, climbing lions are seen by lucky visitors because they move freely in their natural habitat.  Birds and primates in Bwindi are quite fabulous, and there is an unbelievable variety of birds. Bwindi is the Bird watchers retreat as it holds 348 species of birds and supports 24 of 26 Albertine Rift Endemics that occur in Uganda. Dinner and overnight at Gorilla resort lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp or Gift of nature Lodge.

Day 12: Connect to Rwanda

From Bwindi impenetrable forest, we shall cross to Rwanda through Chanika boarder. We shall enjoy the view of the rolling hills of Rwanda en route, proceed to volcanoes national park known for hosting mountain Gorillas. Lunch will be en route and dine at Mountain Gorilla View lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge or Muhavura lodge.

Day 13: Mountain Gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans

In the morning after breakfast and go to the gorilla sanctuary of Parc National des Volcans, the rain tropical forest covering the hills surrounding Virunga Volcanoes. The trekking is challenging but rewarding too. Ensure to carry with you enough drinking water and the packed lunch. Your duration in the forest depends on the movements of the primates in their natural environment. After the activity you return at free time for dinner and overnight at your lodge.

Day 14: Return to Uganda – Lake Bunyonyi

Breakfast and drive to Lake Bunyonyi which lies at an altitude of approximately 2000m, and it follows the contours of the hilly terrain that separates the towns of Kabale and Kisoro. It is a very beautiful spot, dotted with small islands and ringed by steeped terraced hills. Bunyonyi locally means a place of little birds and it is particularly good for water birds. Overnight at Lake Bunyonyi Overland Camp, Arcadia cottges or Bird Nest Resort (FB)

Day 15: Transfer to Lake Mburo National Park

Enjoy your breakfast and thereafter, we shall depart for Lake Mburo National Park. Drive through some of Uganda’s finest scenery. The Park is an extension of the Tanzanian plains with big herds of zebra, impala, eland and other ungulates (cloved hoofed animals). For birding, it is one of the best places to find African fin foot and papyrus bush shrike. You will check in at the camp and relax for a little while before going in a bunker canoe on the lake. Dinner and overnight at Mihingo Safari Lodge, Arcadia Cottages or Mburo safari Lodge (FB)

Day 16: Drive to Kampala – Jinja (Optional White Water Rafting)

After having your breakfast, you will depart for and then move straight to Jinja heading east passing Mabira Forest, Tea and Sugar plantations as well as the colourful roadside fruit/vegetable markets. You will continue to the source of the Nile, a spot where John Speke first discovered the source of the Nile River. You will continue to Jinja Nile Resort / Sunset hotel where you will be staying. In the early evening, you will rest by the side of the swimming pool.

Day 17: Return to Kampala – Entebbe – Departure

After breakfast, you will return to Kampala and be driven straight to Entebbe International Airport for your flight back home.
Tour Inclusions
Gorilla trekking permits
Golden Monkey permit
Bottled drinking water
Ground transport
Full-time English guide
Accommodation and meals
Miscellaneous
All activities in the itinerary

Tour exclusions
Alcoholic beverages
Tips
Porters fee
Extra activities
Visa fees
International flight