Current estimates for the total wild population of chimpanzees range from 150,000 to 250,000, with Uganda home to about 5,000 individuals. Almost 1,500 are found in Kibale National Park, the most popular place for chimp tracking in the country. You can also track chimps in Kyambura Gorge, Kalinzu Forest, Budongo Forest and in the Semliki Valley. Most of our Uganda holidays focus on Kibale, which has very high success rate for sightings, and the atmospheric Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, where sightings are less certain but the scenery is spectacular.
Chimpanzee tracking is not only fascinating, but a lot of fun. It’s often a more active experience than gorilla trekking, which involves adopting a very submissive pose while in the presence of these forest giants. Chimps tend to move around more, and you can feel like a child on an adventure following them through the forest.
Safari in Details
Day – 1 Kampala to Kibale National Park – Uganda
Our 7-day Uganda Safari departs from Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Leaving Kampala this morning, we drive through the dense jungles and papyrus marshes of the Nile Delta. We pause for lunch en route to the Kibale National Park, near the Ruwenzori Mountains.
In the afternoon we embark on a guided walk in the national park, exploring the crater lakes area and experiencing the local culture. This evening we enjoy an interesting cultural visit in the crater area.
Day – 2 Kibale Park Chimpanzee Trekking – Uganda
Day two starts with an early breakfast before being briefed on the chimpanzee trekking walk in the forests of Kibale. The guided walk offers a great opportunity to learn more about chimpanzees and other primates, along with the various plants, butterflies and creatures of the jungle.Kibale National Park covers 795 km² and consists mostly of a vast tract of equatorial rainforest. This national park is home to numerous forest wildlife species, boasting one of the highest concentrations of primates in the world. The 13 primate species include the rare I’Hoest’s monkey, black-and-white colobus and Uganda red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey and bushbabies.
After chimpanzee tracking, we take a nature walk to the Bigodi wetland, where we get to appreciate the unique plants and animals of the area.
Day – 3 Kibale National Park to Queen Elizabeth Park – Uganda
Kibale National Park To Queen Elizabeth Park – Uganda
This morning we depart from Kibale, visiting Nyakasura Falls near the market town of Fort Portal, set in the lush region of the Rwenzori Mountains.
Next our journey through Uganda takes us south towards the Queen Elizabeth National Park. Along the way we pass through scenic landscapes and keep our eyes open for game. Wildlife sightings include elephants, lions, buffalo, warthogs, waterbuck other antelopes and various birds.
Day – 4 Queen Elizabeth National Park – Uganda
Today our Uganda Gorillas, Chimpanzees & Wildlife Safari starts with a game drive in Queen Elizabeth Park at sunrise. The Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s top protected area and covers about 1978 km². The park is scenically located on the rift valley floor between Lake Edward and Lake George flanked by towering mountains in the distance. The game park is set among hills and lakes and consists mostly of euphorbia tree-studded savannahs or grasslands. The varied habitats within Queen Elizabeth National Park host 95 mammal and over 612 bird species. Big game are abundant in Queen Elizabeth Park, which is known for excellent elephant and Uganda kob antelope sightings.
After lunch we embark on a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, offering superb bird watching opportunities. The banks of the channel are home to a rich variety of birds, including Pink-backed Pelicans, Pied and Malachite Kingfishers and Saddle-billed Stork. Wildlife sightings along the Kazinga Channel, stretching between Lake Edward and Lake George, include numerous buffalo and hippo.
Day – 5 Queen Elizabeth Park to Bwindi – Uganda
This morning we enter the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park, known as the Ishasha section. We take a game drive on our way out of the game park, looking out for wildlife, especially the tree-climbing lions found in this area. From Queen Elizabeth Park we drive through breath-taking landscapes, some of the most scenic in East Africa.
We continue into the area of Uganda consisting of volcanic craters covered in highland rainforests, passing the impressive craters of the western Rift Valley escarpment and scenic tea plantations. En route we stop to see Bat Cave near the Maramagambo Forest or the Kyambura Gorge – both top scenic highlights on any safari in Uganda. In the afternoon we explore the local communities near Bwindi National Park on foot, to gain insight into the lifestyles and cultures of these resourceful Ugandan people. Dinner and overnight at accommodation in the forested hills of Bugambira, in the Kisoro District.
Day – 6 Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Gorilla Trekking – Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Gorilla Trekking – Uganda
On day six we rise early for breakfast, before the gorilla trek briefing at 8:00am by rangers from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). We then set off on our once-in-a-lifetime African Mountain Gorilla Trek in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Gorilla trekking in the wild is the highlight of visiting Uganda and one of the top wildlife encounters on earth.
The guides lead you into the bush, pushing through the undergrowth to track the Bwindi mountain gorillas. This gorilla walk can take up to 6 hours, so a reasonable degree of fitness and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are a must. After a rewarding trek through the jungle we sit in the forest among the mountain gorillas, listening to them communicating with one another. Marvel at the sheer size of the dominant adult male gorillas, called Silverbacks and experience one of Africa’s most poignant wildlife encounters. After lunch in the forest we take a well-deserved rest or enjoy some bird watching.
We return to the peaceful accommodation to relax and recuperate after our unforgettable gorilla trek in the Bwindi Forest of Uganda.
Day – 7 Bwindi Park to Kampala & Entebbe – Uganda
We enjoy an early breakfast on the final day and then return to Kampala, visiting Igongo Cultural Village en route. Here we learn about the Bahima and Ankole cultures of Uganda, gaining insight into the history of these interesting people. We cross the equator, stopping to take photographs and to have lunch along the way. We arrive back in Kampala and Entebbe (airport drop-off on request) in time to catch evening flights, bringing this Uganda Gorillas, Chimpanzees & Wildlife Safari to a close.
What’s Not Included