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Classic Uganda Primates Safari

Classic Uganda Primates Safari

Home / Visit Uganda / Tailor-made Uganda Safaris / 8-Day Classic Uganda Primates Safari

8 DAYS
USD $3,865

Safari Type
Private Tailor-made

Activity Level
Difficult

Service Level
Mid-range

Overview

  • Drive from Entebbe through Uganda’s picturesque countryside to the southwestern region where primates freely roam.
  • Explore the ancient Kibale Forest jungle looking for a habituated chimpanzee troop and spend one unforgettable hour witnessing their antiques, social dynamics, and physics.
  • Take a golden game drive on the savannah plains and ride the Kazinga Channel to watch incredible wildlife game up close.
  • Spend two nights at the idyllic Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, nestled in trees and beautiful gardens on a ridge with incredible views over Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the rugged frontier region, and across the entire Virunga Mountains chain. The bush lodge has excellent guest services and a gourmet selection.
  • With the visitor center a five-minute walk away, trek into the impenetrable jungle with local guides and porters to meet a family of mountain gorillas and spend one precious hour observing their primitive cultures.
  • Meet the native Batwa forest people, learn their dying cultures, listen to their tales, and dance to their tunes.
  • Buy a couple of souvenirs from the locals for your memorabilia collection and, of course, to support the families of people living in the remotest parts of Africa.

Local Experts

At Nkuringo Safaris we believe working with our customers to prepare a journey delivers a maximum subjective experience. We understand that most guests will be traveling to unfamiliar places and dealing with mind-boggling logistics that require skillful guidance from local experts. These local experts will help you plan the Luxury gorilla safari in your own way!

Email: info@nkuringosafaris.com | Tel: +256 702 805580

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Itinerary

Spend eight wonderful days on this Amazing Uganda Primates Safari trip, trekking gorillas and chimpanzees, on game drives through beautiful savanna plains and experiencing Ugandan cultures.

Form Entebbe, pass through the beautiful town of Fort Portal, the Crater Lakes region, on your way to the Kibale Forest National Park, where you will track and spend some time watching the antiques of primates, including intelligent and energetic chimpanzee bands. Enjoy the spectacular views of the Rwenzori Mountains on the way to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you will meet Africa’s big game animals and be intrigued by the agile tree-climbing lions.

Continue your journey to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where you’ll hike across the primaeval jungle from Buhoma to Nkuringo via the Kashasha river trail and later trek the elusive, majestic and endangered mountain gorillas. From the gorilla nation, fly back to Entebbe via Kisoro to tell the tales of Amazing Uganda.

This private Uganda safari trip can be customised to your style of travel. Our Covid operating procedures must be observed to keep you, service providers and the animals protected from the pandemic.

Entebbe

Arrive at Entebbe International Airport, clear with immigration (Visa, Yellow Fever, and Covid Vaccine Certificates). We will pick you up and transfer you to the hotel.

If you arrive early, you can do optional activities in Entebbe, including birding in Botanical Gardens, market walks, shopping, zoo, and Ngamba chimps Island. The most popular with our guests is a canoe ride on the Lake Victoria mashes to track the prehistoric shoebill bird.

Otherwise, you can use this time to shop, visit the bank, or forex exchange.

Accommodation: Papyrus Guesthouse Entebbe (mid-range)
Meal Plan: Bed and Breakfast

Travel To Lake Mburo, Game Drive

Enjoy an early breakfast, then journey to Western Uganda across the beautiful landscape of central Uganda with
vast cultivated plains, banana plantations, and cattle farms. Briefly stopover en route at Mpambire and watch the
making of traditional and local artefacts. The equator stop will be another excellent stop for a few Instagram
moments. You’ll arrive in time for lunch at Rwakobo Rock Lodge.

Rwakobo Rock Lodge is a wilderness retreat secluded on a rocky outcrop at the edge of Lake Mburo National
Park’s northern border. The lodge provides private getaways in the locally-styled cottages dotted around a massive
granite outcrop, with stunning views over the wilderness plains.

After a hearty lunch at the lodge, take a game drive and meet resident favourites like buffalo, impala, zebra, eland,
warthogs, and bushbuck. You can also take a one-hour boat safari to find crocodiles, hippos, and plenty of water
birds or a horseback safari (not covered in the price.)

Accommodation: Rwakobo Rock (mid-range)
Meal Plan:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Rwakobo Rock to Nkuringo (6 hrs)

Enjoy an early morning game drive in the park, then continue to Western Uganda across its rolling hills, tea plantations, tropical rainforest, and towards the Virunga Volcanos majestic chain.

Drive via Mbarara, Kabale, and Kisoro towns before heading onto the 32-km countryside dirt road to Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Keep your eyes out on the rugged Tuscany-like landscapes: the views are to-die-for! On the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, on a magnificent ridge, sits Nkuringo Lodge’s ten luxurious cottages.

The private cottages have a distinctive elegance and surprising luxury amid forest trees, flowers, and shrubs. Locally styled furnishings grace the spacious rooms, and light fills the space from your private viewing deck over the forest swath and beyond the entire Virunga Volcanoes chain.

After settling in, take a stroll around the community, encounter local cultures, and visit the Batwa indigenous tribe who once occupied Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, now a UNESCO world heritage site and gorilla home.

Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (mid-range)
Meal Plan:
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi

Wake up early to start the Luxury Uganda Gorilla Safari highlight, have your breakfast, and be at the trailhead in time for the gorilla tracking briefing. The Nkuringo trailhead is about a 10-meter walk from Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge—our driver can drive you for that distance if you so choose.

The gorilla tracking briefing usually starts at 8:00 am. You’ll be assigned the gorilla group for tracking with six other trekkers and given the general observable rules in the jungle. You’ll be escorted into the African wilderness with two gun-baring rangers (for your security) and a tracker/guide with a machete to lead your way.

The jungle has dump floors and thick shrubs, which will definitely require you have waterproof hiking boots, a rain jacket, a waterproof backpack (it could rain anytime), trousers, long-sleeved and garden gloves. The tracking is at your pace, ask to stop when you want to, and body fitness will be required because it’s a mountainous region. Trekking can take from 30 minutes to 6 hours before you find the gorillas, be prepared for this.

Once you have found the gorillas, you will be allowed to spend an hour with them. Keep your camera silent (no shutter sound of flash photography), observe a 10 meters distance from the gorillas, and keep your mask on. Your time in the forest cannot be pre-determined as every day differs from the previous.

Visit the top of the world in the evening to have a 360 degrees experience of the jungle you just visited. On a clear day, you can see a line of the five volcano mountains, including the Rwenzori mountains, in the far distance.

Accommodation: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Hiking Across Bwindi Forest

Our travellers’ favourite and pioneer activity is hiking on the ancient walking trails through the mystic Bwindi
jungle, from the Nkuringo south side to the Buhoma visitor centre in the north. At the gates of the forest, the
surprised traveller will be forced to forget their city estimates of great and small, wise and foolish, and wrap
themselves in the majestic beauties of the ancient jungle.

For 4-5 hours, you’ll be guided by a local expert who’ll furnish you with ancient tales, and incredible forest
knowledge and bring you close to being one with the forest trails. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet some wild
forest inhabitants like chimps, forest elephants, duikers, forest buffalo, and more.

At the other end of the walking trail, your driver will be ready to whisk you off through Ishasha savannah
plains, where he’ll lazily drive for you to catch sight of the incredible tree-climbing lions. You’ll be at Kataara
Lodge in time for dinner.

Accommodation: Katara Lodge (Mid-range)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Game Drive & Boat Safari

This part of the Explore Uganda itinerary will give you a chance to get close to Africa safari’s big game players on an early morning or evening game drive and a boat safari on Kazinga Channel, famous for hosting the largest population of hippos.

While on a game drive on Kasenyi tracks, you will encounter animals like enormous herds of elephants and buffalo. You’ll also spot many interesting antelope species such as Uganda kob, topi, and bushbuck. The giant forest hog is unusually easy to spot. Search around the Kasenyi tracks for the elusive leopard.

On the Kazinga Channel boat safari trip that will set off at 14:00, you’re able to catch sight of elephants, buffalo, waterbuck, Uganda kob, and large hippo pods daily. Keep an eye open for the enormous water monitor lizard, which is common in the riverine scrub, as well as crocodiles. You’ll also see the giant forest hog, leopard, and lion. The odds of seeing predators and other nocturnal creatures coming to drink are highest in the late afternoon.

After the boat launch, you’ll get onto the highway with the Rwenzori Mountains backdrop and drive north to Kibale National Park, arriving just in time for dinner.

Accommodation: Turaco Treetops (Mid-range)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Chimpanzee Trekking Experience

Wake up early and be at the visitor centre by 7:30 am to embark on another primate viewing adventure in Kibale Forest. Kibale is commonly known for the diversity and density of primates in Africa. Its stands out as the best place to watch chimpanzees up-close in their natural setting, with over 1500 chimpanzees under the park’s rainforest canopy and a dozen other primate species.

On your morning trek to find the chimps, it’s prevalent for other primates to cross your paths, like the rare L’Hoest’s monkey and red colobus monkey. Other primates you may encounter include the black & white colobus, red-tailed monkey, blue monkey, olive baboon, and grey-cheeked mangabey.

However, your primary goal will be to find a troop of human-habituated chimpanzees. Guided by an expert tracker, you’ll head into the jungle in small groups, looking out for tale-tale signs of the chimp’s direction and listening for loud calls.

The experience usually lasts 2 to 6 hours, depending on the location of the habituated chimpanzee troop. Visitors are allowed from 1 hr to almost the whole day with the chimpanzees, and the quality and intimacy of each sighting can vary highly

Accommodation: Turaco Treetops (Mid-range)
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

Road Trip to Entebbe

After breakfast, lazily get your bags early in the morning. After breakfast, you’ll drive through the gorgeous Fort Portal country with the fading Rwenzori mountains escorting you out of western Uganda to Entebbe through Kampala.

In Entebbe, you can use our facilities at Papyrus Guest House to freshen up for your international flight back home. Accommodation for this day is not included, though. But we can book you a room at your discretion.

Accommodation (Optional):  Papyrus Guesthouse
Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch.

Activity Level

This Classic Uganda Primates Safari has an activity rating of difficult (for gorilla trekking) and moderate (for chimpanzee tracking); travellers should be physically fit and prepared for multiple hours of forest hiking over uneven and steep terrain. You’ll be trekking mountain gorillas and chimpanzees for about 1 to 6 hours through untamed jungle at elevations reaching 8,000 feet, and participants must be older than 15 years. Mountain gorillas live at a high altitude which can cause altitude sickness for some travelers and make it difficult for physical activities.

Responsible Travel

Pack For Purpose – We request all travelers to save some space in their luggage and carry something they would happily give away to someone in need. Like a pair of trousers, shirt, sweater, jacket, reading book for kids, off-the-counter pills, or any scholarship material. While at Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, you will drop it in our Pack For A Purpose basket and allow our village scouts to distribute them to an identified family. Find out more about the Pack for Purpose program.

Take a Porter – We also encourage all travelers to hire a porter for gorilla trekking. You not only contribute directly to the communities around the parks but also get so much-needed help during the arduous trek. Also, you can support the communities by stopping by the community gift shops and buying a souvenir. We discourage giving money to anyone that hasn’t offered a service or product.

Read more about our Responsible Travel Policy.

Accommodations & Meals

In Entebbe, our property Papyrus Guest House will welcome you into the country and, in the end, give you a good send-off. You will also be staying at mid-range safari lodges in Kibale and Queen Elizabeth, and at our multi-award-winning property in Bwindi, where you’ll spend two nights.

Your meals will feature more healthy choices like vegetables usually harvested on-site. Please endeavor to inform your trip manager of your dietary requirements beforehand.

Covid-19 Standards

Please take and carry a NEGATIVE PCR COVID-19 TEST certificate if you are not fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated adults do not require the test for entry into Uganda. We’ll be keen to observe Covid-19 guidelines to ensure your safety during this trip.

Safari Team

Nkuringo Safaris Expert and driver will manage your transfers, and a trip manager will be on-call 24/7 to buffer any inconveniences and help in any unexpected change of plans.

Nkuringo Safaris Ltd is owned by a Ugandan family, and your entire journey is operated and managed by locals, which means all the revenue stays within the destination. Your guides will endeavor to entertain and inform you about our local cultures and customs and take you to places where you can appreciate local experiences.

Transportation

As specified in your trip itinerary, we have arranged all your transportation needs in a four-by-four safari car. Our safari cars are fuel efficient and well maintained to work efficiently, and there’s always a car on standby if you encounter any mechanical difficulties.

Your driver will avoid unnecessary driving between places you can easily walk to contribute to our carbon neutrality.

The open spaces and remote locations are the safest places from COVID-19 infections and our primary concern is your health.

Uganda COVID-19 entry questions and answers

Is Uganda really a safe destination to travel to?

How Nkuringo Safaris intends to keep you safe

HELPING KEEP YOU SAFE

Our health and safety protocols will consider the latest guidance and recommendations by the Government of Uganda, international and local health agencies, and destination partners. Learn More

UPDATED BOOKING POLICY

To provide you more flexibility, we have modified our booking policies. Through June 30, 2021, guests can book this itinerary with fully refundable deposits up until 60 days prior to departure. Learn More

Price – Based on mid-range accommodation

No. of GuestsLow SeasonHigh Season
6 People SharingUS $3,865 pp$4,066 per person
4 People SharingUS $4,048 pp$4,249 per person
2 People SharingUS $4,961 pp$5,162 per person

Prices are per person based on the number of travellers and do not include international airfare to/from your country. Included in the price are the Gorilla & Chimp Permits, Park Entry Fees, and Batwa Experience at $1140 per person in 2022, transportation, accommodation, and meals. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars and are subject to change. See the terms and conditions for this trip for more information.

INCLUDED

  • 1 Gorilla Permit, 1 chimp permit, Park entry fees, and Batwa Experience, worth $1140 per person
  • All accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinking water for trekking, coffee, and tea while at Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
  • All the excursions and activities indicated in the itinerary (canoe ride, walks, etc.) under the supervision of an experienced English-speaking Walking Guide
  • A fueled and well-maintained Private 4×4 safari car with a professional English-speaking driver-guide
  • Airport transfers
  • AMREF Evacuation Insurance cover
  • Government taxes

NOT INCLUDED

  • Excursion to Lake Victoria and Mabamba Swamps on Day 1 ($120)
  • Emergency medical bills
  • International air flights
  • Any optional activity is not indicated in the itinerary.
  • Day-use room or extra night at Papyrus G.H. on day 8
  • Laundry services, gratuities and Tips
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • All drinks, including the drinks for the sundowners and picnics

REQUEST A QUOTE

This trip can be customized or tailor-made to suit your preferences especially accommodation, route, and activities. Fill out the form below to request a free quote.


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