5-Day Gorilla Safari Adventure by Road - Nkuringo Safaris Uganda

5-Day Gorilla Safari Adventure by Road

  • 5 Days 4 Nights
  • Uganda, East Africa
  • Private
  • info@nkuringosafaris.com
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5 Day Gorilla Adventure Safari by Road

Tour Overview

  • Price
  • Duration 5 Days 4 Nights
  • Dates Open
  • Safari TypeGuided, Private Safari
  • LocationUganda
  • Departure CityEntebbe
  • End CityEntebbe
  • Contact nameCatherine
  • Contact phone+256 774 805580
  • Cancellation policyUp to 90 Days
  • Accommodation as in itinerary
  • Group Type Travelers’s choice
  • Restriction No Children Bellow 15 years
  • LanguagesEnglish

Safari Overview

This Gorilla Adventure Safari takes you exploring the jungles of Bwindi impenetrable forest on a gorilla trekking adventure followed by an encounter with the indigenous tribes of the forest boundaries, the Batwa community.

This gorilla safari takes you by road from Entebbe International Airport, 9 hours across Uganda’s spectacular emerald plains, hills and valleys to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s southern sector, Nkuringo region.

The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular. The area offers a dramatic, steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Many find it to be a rare and moving opportunity.

Safari Highlights

  • Discover the southern region of the Pearl of Africa
  • Unforgettable encounter with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
  • Meet, explore and learn from the local communities
  • Support sustainable tourism initiatives

Know before you go

  • You’ll be visiting Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP in Western Uganda, where the gorilla flourish.
  • The tour is limited to a maximum of 6 travelers per vehicle, and 30% deposit on confirmation.

Safari Includes

  • Local guide
  • Fees & Permits
  • Food and drinks
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers in 4×4
  • Private tour
  • English guide
  • Gratuities
  • All activities
  • Visa & travel insurance

General FAQs

Travel Restrictions

Uganda is open to international travel and tourism. Except for the Uganda-Rwanda border, all international borders and Entebbe International Airport (the only one in the country) are open for inbound/outbound traffic, with restrictions.

Apart from the general immigration requirements for entry into Uganda, the following will be required to use Uganda’s Covid entry/exit requirements:

In addition to security requirements, all persons entering the airport shall wear Ministry of Health (MOH) approved Face Masks, go through Thermal Screening, handwashing, and/or sanitize(hand/body).

All arriving passengers from category 2 countries will be subjected to a PCR COVID-19 test (at the traveler’s expense of about USD 65) at all entry points, including Entebbe International Airport. Category 1—includes India, is currently banned from entry into the country. Category 2—consists of the USA, UK, UAE, Turkey, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Tanzania. These travelers will have to wait for their results before proceeding to their final destination in Uganda. (Results can take 4-6 hours).

Travelers of countries in category 3—includes all not in categories 1 & 2— will not be subject to PCR tests but shall present an authentic and valid PCR COVID-19 diagnostic test certificate issued 120 hours before arriving in Uganda.

Individuals from category 2 countries who have received complete COVID-19 vaccinations and have no signs of any infection will be exempted from mandatory PCR tests at entry points. However, they must carry a negative PCR COVID test certificate issued not more than 120 hours before travel.

For a detailed Q&A on travel restrictions, visit our FAQs Page

papyrus guest house entebbe
papyrus guest house entebbe

Papyrus Guesthouse – Entebbe

Mid Range Lodge, First Night in Entebbe

Located 10 minutes drive from Entebbe International Airport in the residential area of Upper Kiwafu. The fifteen bedroomed Guesthouse is like staying with friends. The rooms are comfortable and simple – they are all en-suite and fully supplied with high-quality mosquito nets, beds, cooling fans, safes and guest amenities.

There is a TV lounge, WiFi in the main areas and extends to most of the rooms, complimentary airport transfer.

Nkuringo’s 12 chalet-style rooms are dotted around it’s pretty gardens. The elegant Villa is similarly designed with two bright and spacious bedrooms (they can be booked separately or interconnected) and private terraces overlooking Bwindi’s dense rainforest. All rooms are en-suite and individually decorated with splashes of colour in fabrics and local artwork.

nkuringo bwindi gorilla lodge

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

Option 1: Bwindi Impenetrable NP (Nkuringo Sector) — 3 Nights

Located on the Ridge in Nkuringo Village, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge has stunning canopy views of of the misty rainforest and is a luxury option property for tracking the Nkuringo—Rushaga gorilla groups.

Perched high on Nteko Ridge, the charming Nkuringo Lodge has spectacular views over the entirety of Bwindi in one direction and back across the lake toward and beyond Kisoro.

The deservedly charming Nkuringo has earned its name as Uganda’s leading Safari Lodge at the World Travel Awards in 2016/17/18, greatly deserving our choice for you.

The cozy dining room is built around a beautiful tree, its trunk a quirky feature amid wooden beams and flooring, raffia ceilings and terracotta-coloured walls. The place exudes a rustic charm with a small bar and sofas around a stone fireplace and Ugandan fabrics and carvings adorning the walls.

Outside, the terrace looks across to the Virunga Volcanoes, the only other mountain gorilla homeland in the world. Eco-friendly and carbon neutral, the lodge has immaculate and colourful gardens, attracting an array of birds and even three-horned chameleons.

  • 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 cancelled within 45 days of the tour departure date or no show will incur 100% of 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.

UGANDA GORILLA PERMIT CANCELLATION POLICY
(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

1

Day 1: Arrival in Entebbe & Mabamba Swamps

Arrival in Entebbe as per your international flights and transfer to Papyrus Guest House.

In the afternoon, to compliment the start of your Gorilla Adventure Safari in Uganda, you’ll take an optional excursion on Lake Victoria (2nd largest fresk water lake in the world) to Mabamba swamp to catch sight of the elusive shoebill stork (giant bird that skipped evolution and kept a large beak that looks like a shoe.

Departure from the hotel at exactly 14.30/15.00 hours by car and local canoe to Mabamba Swamp, one of the best places for spotting the rare shoebill storks. Of course some fortune is needed but rarely does one leave the swamp without seeing one! Many other water birds have chosen this area as their home so birding is always very interesting.

Enjoy a relaxing sundowner on Lake Victoria and then return to the Guest House.

Accommodation & meals:
Papyrus Guest House
Bed & Breakfast basis; Lunch & Dinner on own’s account

2

Travel to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Start the Gorilla Adventure Safari with an early breakfast and travel to Western Uganda across the beautiful landscape of central Uganda: rolling hills, cultivated terraces, tropical rainforest and towards the end the majestic chain of the Virunga Volcanoes. Stop-over en-route at the equator, at Mbarara (for lunch) and at Igongo Cultural Center.

The drive takes about 8-10 hours.

Accommodation & meals:
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

3

Day 3: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

The highlight of Gorilla Adventure Safari starts after breakfast, at around 7:45 am, with packed lunch and drinking water you will be transferred to the National Park Head Quarters for the briefing on the dos and the don’ts while with the gorillas. You then continue to the forest for the start of the actual gorilla tracking.

The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular. The area offers a dramatic, steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time taken and the terrain varies as per the movements of these great primates. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored. Many find it to be a rare and moving opportunity. The tracking can take place at Nkuringo or at Rushaga (1 hr drive from Nkuringo), as per the gorilla permits obtained.

Upon return, relax at the lodge and, for those who like, at 5.00 pm either stroll through the community center or drive up to the “Top of the World” – the name given to the football field, high up in Nkuringo which offers amazing views over the peaks and forests around Nkuringo. A great way to stretch your legs after the gorilla tracking and to enjoy a sundowner.

Accommodation & meals:
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

4

Hike and canoe across Lake Mutanda, Community tour and Buniga Forests (encounter with the Batwa)

This morning after an early breakfast, drive to Rubuguri Junction (10k – 1 hour) to start a nice hike across beautiful landscapes and local communities – a great opportunity to experience authentic village life (9km – 2/3 hours). Upon arrival at Lake Mutanda you then “settle” in a dugout canoe for 2-3 hours of gentle relaxed cruising across the lake, enjoying the beautiful panorama. Meet with your vehicle and drive back to Nkuringo.

Of course you could also drive from the lodge directly to the lake (20k – 90 minutes), enjoy the canoe ride across the lake and drive all the way back to the lodge again. Guests decide!

In the afternoon stroll down to the Buniga Forest Trail Walk, an informative project run by USAID and the local Batwa community. The Batwa tribe was forced to leave their home in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in 1991 when it was declared a UNESCO Heritage site for gorillas only. They had been living in the forest as nomadic hunter-gatherers for millennia, in perfect balance with the flora and fauna around. Moving out and suddenly living in communities with a completely different way of life has proven to be a huge challenge. They now survive as best as they can and earn a living explaining their previous life in the forest and their rich heritage.

Continuation of the walk through the community to visit the traditional herbalist and the black smith.

Accommodation & meals:
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

5

Drive back to Entebbe

After breakfast enjoy another glimpse of the misty jungle then start the drive back to Entebbe airport. End of services.

The drive takes about 10 hours.

Accommodation & meals:
No accommodation
Breakfast, Lunch; Dinner on own’s account.

Gorilla Permits

To see mountain gorillas you must first obtain a tracking permit from the UWA in Kampala or RDB in Kigali. If you prefer avoiding the bureaucracy, Members of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators are able to purchase permits on your behalf for up to 2 years from the month of tracking.

Nkuringo Safaris helps many of our visitors to obtain permits for either the Nkuringo, Bushasho, Nshongi, MIshaya, Bweza Kahungye or Busingye groups on the south side of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Gorilla groups on the Buhoma sector of Bwindi where availability exists. We also process, on your behalf, your Rwanda gorilla permit. Contact us should you require this service.

Each Gorilla Permit in Uganda costs USD $700 (July 2020) and Nkuringo Safaris’ processing fee is US $30 per tracking permit. A Gorilla Permit in Rwanda costs USD $1,500 per person.

We cannot make tentative bookings for tracking permits with UWA or RDB. All bookings we make with the wildlife authority must be supported with payment in cash at the time of making the reservation.

Gorilla Tracking Fees 2020/21

Country/AuthorityNon- ResidentEast African ResidentEast African Citizen
Uganda Wildlife Authority$700$600Ush 250,000
Rwanda Development Board$1,500$1,500$1,500
  • No persons under 15 years of age may trek Gorillas
  • Gorilla tracking begins at 08.30. Arrive at least 15 mins prior to this for registration.
  • Rates do include park fee, guide fee a certificate of trekking and community levy.

Best Time To Go Gorilla Trekking

Uganda’s raised topography means a cooler climate than its equatorial setting suggests but if you’re planning a gorilla trek on your honeymoon, it’s important to know when to go to Uganda for the easiest trekking conditions. Although it’s regarded as a year-round activity, the best time to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking is during the country’s two dry seasons: January and February and from June to September.

Game viewing in Uganda’s savannah parks is best at the end of the dry seasons – February and March and September/early October – when wildlife is concentrated around water sources. Bird watching is fantastic all year round but is at its peak between November and April when migrant species are present. April and May, even when considered the rainy season, its great time to visit Uganda and the Gorillas. The views are stunning and it rains mostly in the afternoon for 1 hr and not tempering with activities.

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