7 Day Uganda Primates Safari

Uganda primates safari - chimp mother and child moment

7 Day Uganda Primates Safari

  • Price
  • Duration 7 Days 6 Nights
  • Dates Open
  • Safari TypeGuided, Private Safari
  • LocationUganda
  • Departure CityEntebbe
  • End CityEntebbe
  • Contact nameKelebu
  • Contact phone+256 392 176327
  • Cancellation policyUp to 90 Days
  • AccommodationAs shown in itinerary
  • Group TypeTraveler’s choice
  • Restriction No Children Below 15 years
  • LanguagesEnglish

Safari Overview

The Uganda Primates Safari adventure flies you from Entebbe to ‘Bwindi Impenetrable Forest’ in Uganda’s mountainous far southwestern tip, where you will track the endangered mountain gorillas and spend some time in their presence. As old as the Pleistocene era, the gorilla sanctuary offers a dramatic, steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing tourists access.

You’ll then take to the golden savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park to catch sight of the big safari game at their best. Take a game drive and boat safari on the Kazinga channel, and lastly, keep up with the playful chimps in the Kibale forest to complete the Uganda primates safari adventure.

On this trip, we’ll be observing strict COVID-19 regulations, including a Negative PCR COVID-19 Test done not more than 72 hours before you enter the country, the mandatory wearing of facemask, and handwashing in public areas. We’ll avoid crowded places and opt for private meals and dedicated service delivery. Keeping you protected from infections is essential to the whole team at Nkuringo Safaris.

Safari Highlights

  • Observe strict COVID-19 regulations; facemask and handwashing are mandatory, as well as a negative PCR Test certificate not older than 72 hours.
  • Discover the southern region of the Pearl of Africa, optimizing the transfer times
  • Fly to Kisoro and out of Kihihi with daily departures and no minimum of participants
  • An unforgettable encounter with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
  • Beautiful hike “across” Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, accompanied by a professional guide and armed rangers
  • Experience the Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Trek Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park
  • Meet, explore and learn from the local communities
  • Support sustainable tourism initiatives

Know before you go

  • You’ll be taking a local small flight from Entebbe to Kisoro near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where you’ll track the mountain gorilla and visit the local native communities. You’ll also visit Queen Elizabeth NP for the savanna wildlife experience and Kibale Forest for the chimps.
  • The tour is limited to a maximum of 6 travelers per vehicle, and 30% deposit on confirmation.

Safari Includes

  • Local guide
  • Chimp & Gorilla Permit ($900)
  • Food and drinks
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers in 4×4
  • Private tour
  • English guide
  • Gratuities & tips
  • All activities
  • Visa & travel insurance

General FAQs

  • You can reschedule this trip as a private tour to any date up to 12 months at no cost.
  • A 30% deposit of the total tour price will be required to secure a booking, the balance being due 45 days before the tour departure date.
  • Bookings not secured by the appropriate deposit will be released.
  • Cancellation between 90 and 45 days of tour departure will incur a 20% of tour price penalty charge. Confirmed bookings canceled within 45 days of the tour departure date or no show will incur 100% of the tour price penalty charge.
  • Availability of accommodation and activities is not guaranteed; reservations will be made after receiving confirmation of the final itinerary and the payment of the requested deposit. Should any of the quoted accommodations not be available, we reserve the right to substitute it with an alternative suitable option, which might affect the final quoted price.
  • All clients who participate in this tour must be adequately covered by medical insurance as well as travel insurance to protect them in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Rates specified for this tour are subject to change without notice, however, every effort will be made to maintain them. In the event of any change of Government taxes or operating conditions that affect the rates, we reserve the right to pass on these charges.

(different and separate from the tour cancellation policy)

Gorilla and Chimpanzee Permits will be guaranteed ONLY upon receipt of the deposit (US$750 for both permits in Jan to Jun 2020 and US$900 in Jul-Dec 2020) since we need to immediately pay Uganda Wildlife Authority Offices in order to secure the permits.

Cancellations received on full payment:

  • More than 90 days before the tracking date, 25% cancellation fee
  • 89 to 46 days before the tracking date, 50% cancellation fee
  • 45 to 9 days before the tracking date, 75% cancellation fee
  • 8 to 0 days before the tracking date, 100% cancellation fee

Important: the minimum age required for gorilla tracking is 15 years whereas for the chimps the minimum age required is 12 years; in case of flu or of any other airborne disease the visitor will be not allowed to meet with the gorillas or the chimps.

Detailed Itinerary

Arrival in Entebbe & Mabamba Swamps

Arrive in Entebbe as per your international flights and transfer to Papyrus Guest House, where you’ll spend a night and get the first briefing about the Uganda primates safari.

We have an optional excursion on Lake Victoria (the second largest freshwater lake in the world) if your flight arrives early in Entebbe. In the evening, you can take a lazy drive to Mabamba swamps and a catch boat canoe to find the elusive shoebill stork. The shoebill is a giant ancient bird that seems to have skipped evolution and has a large beak that looks like a shoe. Many other water birds have chosen this area as their home, so birding is always exciting. Enjoy a relaxing sundowner on Lake Victoria and return to the Guest House.

Accommodation and meals:
Papyrus Guest House (standard room)


Day 1: Fly from Entebbe – Kisoro – Native village Visit

Start your long-awaited Uganda primates Safari with an early morning transfer from your hotel to Entebbe International Airport for a domestic flight to Kisoro. The first part takes us through central Uganda. A view of the beautiful landscape of mountains, hills with cultivated terraces, tropical rainforest, bamboo forest, and the Virunga Volcanoes’ majestic chain.

Upon arrival, meeting with the vehicle and our walking safari guide for a briefing on the day’s exciting activities will be adapted to the clients’ desires. You can either walk for approx. 90 minutes – 4km to Lake Mutanda Sheba’s Camp – or drive 30 minutes to the lake. You then “settle” in a dugout canoe for 2-3 hours of gentle, relaxed cruising across the lake, enjoying the beautiful landscape. After lunch at a restaurant on the lake shores, continue on foot till Rubuguri (9km – 2/3 hours), where you meet up the vehicle and drive for another 10 km up to the Lodge in Nkuringo (approx 1 hour). Of course, the driver could instead pick you up at the lake and drive up to the Lodge. Guests decide!

Accommodation and meals:
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Private Cottage)
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner


Day 2: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest south sector

The highlight of the Uganda Primates Safari starts when you wake early (06:00), have your breakfast, and be at the trailhead in time for the gorilla tracking briefing. It’s about 100 meters from Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge to the visitors’ reception when tracking Nkuringo group southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Once there, you will first receive a briefing at 8.00 am and then start the tracking.

Once you have found the gorillas, you will spend an hour with them. Your time in the forest cannot be pre-determined as every day is different from that previous. On your return to your vehicle, you will proceed directly to Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge. Visit the top of the world in the evening, and on a clear day, you can see a line of the seven volcano mountains later retire your day at the Lodge.

Or for an extra USD 1,500 – Experience Gorilla Habituation

Have an early morning breakfast and at around 6:45 am, you will set off to Rushaga some 23km from the Lodge. This early morning departure allows some time for photographic opportunities as you descend the valley from Nkuringo.

The drive at first light in the morning is gorgeous as the sun illuminates the Virunga’s volcanoes on the southern horizon. As you approach Rushaga, the sunlight is fractured as it cascades through the national park’s primary forest. The Rushaga groups have the same briefing point at Rushaga; guests dispatch to track their respective Gorilla groups. However, you will be tracking the Rushaga habituated gorilla family group on this day. Once you reach the gorillas, enjoy 4 hours in the presence of this gorilla family group standing 6 meters away. After tracking, you will return to the Lodge. Accommodation as above

Accommodation and meals:
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (Private Cottage)
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner


Day 3: Hike across Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park.

After a very early breakfast, drive along the Nteko Ridge to the Ivy River Trail’s junction with the forest (7 km) and then start the unforgettable hike across the forest (13km – 4-5 hours).

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a vast, unique natural reserve – monkeys, duikers, bush pigs, and some of Bwindi’s world-renowned bird species, plus many butterflies can be sighted. If you are fortunate, you may even encounter gorillas! Once part of a much larger forest that included the Virunga Volcanoes in neighboring Rwanda, the park is nowadays an ecological island within a sea of villages and farmland, and its conservation importance is immense.

This activity’s emphasis is on your walking guide sharing his knowledge of the forest with you; it is not simply an A to B hike. The trail is also an essential footpath for local people, particularly on market days, traveling from Nkuringo and Nteko to Buhoma, on the park’s northern boundary. There is no road through Bwindi, so vehicles driving between the two locations have an incredible 170 km bone-jarring journey taking 6 to 8 hours.

Upon arrival at the park headquarters in Buhoma, meet with the Uganda Primates Driver/Guide and drive north to Queen Elizabeth National Park. The southern area of Ishasha is notable for its resident ‘tree-climbing’ lions, an exceptional attraction, and one of the highlights of all safaris taken within the park. The lions can be spotted hanging on branches of huge fig trees, whereas the Uganda Kob (which is the primary food to these lions) graze on the plains below.

The drive from Bwindi (Buhoma sector) to QENP usually takes about 4 hours (180 km).

Accommodation & meals:
Ishasha Wilderness Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner


Day 4: Early Game Drive & Afternoon Boat Cruize on Kazinga Channel

We’ll head out for an early game drive to find more wildlife surprises and then be in Mweya (the northern side of the park) in time for the afternoon boat launch. Step onto the boat for a safari show over the shores of Kazinga Channel. You’ll have your lunch aboard. Careful to keep contact at minimal, and keep your facemask on, please. The Channel presents a healthy number of big and small animal species. From reptiles to giant African elephants and birds. The Channel is the best place in Uganda to see vast numbers of wild animals in a single place.

Accommodation and meals
Kasenyi Safari Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner


Day 5: Kasenyi Plains, Transfer to Kibale

After you breakfast, join your safari guide on an early savannah game drive on Kasenyi plains. Look out for an early breakfast hunt, the buffalos, elephants, antelope, hyenas, and if you’re lucky, you might see the leopard too. This part of Queen Elizabeth National Park is healthy with great animal sightings.

You’ll then drive back to the Lodge for lunch and check-out of your room, and we’ll not be coming back. We’ll hit the road and go west for 177 kilometers to Kibale National Park, check-in at Primate’s Lodge right before dark and freshen up for a yummy dinner prepared just for you.

Primates Lodge is located inside the park, so expect uninvited guest surprises at dinner. They are harmless. Kanyanchu, the starting point for chimpanzee trekking and park headquarters, is about 200 meters from your room. So everything is pretty much covered for you tomorrow. Remember to keep it safe from Coronavirus.

Accommodation & meals:
Primates Lodge Kibale


Day 6: Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale National Park

Start your Uganda primates safari day with breakfast at the Lodge. Transfer to Kanyanchu Tourist Center for a briefing on Chimpanzee tracking. Kibale’s most popular activity is the Kanyanchu Primate Walk. Thirteen species can be sought, and a good variety of diurnal monkeys are invariably encountered, but this trail’s stars are the chimpanzees. Kanyanchu’s chimps have been tracked since 1993, and the chances of locating them are excellent. Morning guided walks start at 8 am and last an average of three hours.

In the afternoon, hike up to the top of the world, with breathtaking views of the crater lakes, visit the tea plantation before continuing back to the Lodge.

Accommodation and meals
Primates Lodge
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner


Day 7: Kibale Forest – Entebbe

Morning visit of the Bigodi swamp walk then proceeds with your driver for a 2hour drive to Kasese Airstrip for a scheduled flight to Entebbe. Transfer straight to the Airport; if guests require to freshen up before the flight, we’ll provide a complimentary room at Papyrus.

Accommodation & meals:
No Accommodation