{Uganda}

Gorilla, Chimp and Lion Tracking

8 Days
LENGTH
Jan - Dec
BEST TIME TO VISIT
From £3,995
PRICE

8 Day Gorilla, Chimp and Lion Tracking

 

This 8-day safari mixes tracking lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park, chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park and Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You spend 3-hours with a research team that works to conserve and study lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

 

Day 1: Arrival in Uganda

You arrive at Entebbe airport, located on a peninsula that juts out into the largest fresh water lake in Africa, where a driver/guide from Uzuri Uganda Safaris will welcome you to the ‘pearl of Africa’ and transfer you to Sheraton Hotel Kampala for your overnight stay.

 

Meal Plan: Dinner

 

Day 2: Drive to Kibale Forest National Park

You are up early (6.30am) to enjoy breakfast. After your breakfast, you will be met by your driver/guide who will help you load up. Once all the bags are in the car, you will commence your drive to Kibale Forest National Park via Fort Portal town. The journey will take you through the lush green countryside on the Mityana-Mubende road to Fort Portal town. You will enjoy lunch in Fort Portal. After lunch, you will visit the crater lakes region and then in the evening, complete your transfer to Kibale Forest National Park. Your accommodation (Primate Lodge Kibale/Papaya Lake Lodge/Ndali Lodge) is located within the park so once you have entered the park’s gate, drive up to the lodge and check-in on arrival. Dinner and overnight at Papaya Lake Lodge.

 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 3: Chimpanzee trekking & Bigodi Community visit

Today you are in for some real monkey business! After breakfast, we visit Kibale Forest National Park, reputed for having the greatest variety and highest concentration of primates in East Africa. You will go on a guided nature walk in the tropical rain forest in search of the wild chimpanzees, red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys and many others. The guides and rangers will provide detailed explanations, not only on primates, but also on all the forest fauna and flora and will ensure that your walk is both informative and enjoyable. Once you locate the chimpanzees, you will have a full hour with them at close quarters. After the mandatory 1-hour is finished, your guides/rangers will lead you back to the park headquarters where you will meet your driver/guide. You will be driven back to the lodge (Papaya Lake Lodge) for lunch.

 

Optional: After lunch, you can choose to visit the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary – a swamp in the tropical jungle, filled with natural wonders that have amazed and delighted thousands each year as they trek through this Jungle Swamp. It hosts wildlife including primates, butterflies and birds including the large Blue Turaco. Even more than that the incredible plants, trees, palms, Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary has become a must visit place near Kibale Forest. This is a Bigodi Community Project and the guides are from the project and the community benefits greatly. The walk is 3 hours in length and not to be missed by birders. After this trek, return to Primate Lodge for dinner and overnight.

 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 4: Drive to Queen Elizabeth National & visit Katwe Salt Lake

Wake up at leisure and enjoy your breakfast. At 10.00am, you check-out and will drive via the crater lakes region as you transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park. On the Kasese-Fort Portal road, you lose altitude as you drive into the Rift Valley with the Rwenzori Mountains in the backdrop. You arrive and check-in at Mweya Safari Lodge. Once you have checked in, enjoy lunch and relax around the lodge. In the early evening (5.00pm), head out on a crater lakes drive that will lead you to Katwe Crater Lake where locals have mined salt through the ages. This lake – situated just north of the impressive Mweya peninsula, is far too salty to support any wildlife. However, since the 16th Century, it has ensured the survival of the Katwe residents, who spend their days under the equatorial sun, harvesting salt from its milky waters. Enjoy the spectacular drive to Katwe as you look out for wildlife including buffaloes and elephants. Watch out for Lake Kitagata – fed by salty hot-springs with no wildlife around but the spectacular views. Once you arrive at the salt mines, marvel at the network of paths and huts that have been built across the lake to support hundreds of workers. The salt is sold to traders from across Uganda, and as far as Congo and Rwanda. This tour gives visitors a unique insight into the fascinating yet tough process of salt mining, as well as providing an alternative income for Katwe. During the tour of the lake you will see community members at work, cross the mud walkways. Later, return to your lodge for dinner and overnight stay.

 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 5 (February 07, 2018): Experiential Lion tracking & boat safari along Kazinga channel

You are up at 6.00am to prepare for today. Your driver/guide will drop you off at the Kasenyi gate of the park to meet the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) research team who you will be meeting to spend about 4 hours with – tracking lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Lion Tracking Research at Queen Elizabeth is another way to see the Lions in Queen Elizabeth Park.  The Uganda Carnivore Project does research on Lions and other predators in the northern sector of Queen Elizabeth. You are with them on today’s research outing. This activity is limited in terms of the number of participants that can take part and a rare opportunity for those that can! It has to be booked in advance. You get to help in monitoring, tracking, researching the King of the Beasts in Queen Elizabeth Park which is certainly an out of the ordinary times for visitors to Uganda and another unique wildlife experience offered to visitors by Uganda Wildlife Authority.  Normally this is done using locator devices as researchers monitor the weather, their behavior as well as the surroundings. The finds are added to the databases of the researchers, hence contributing very important information to the general understanding of Africa’s wildlife ecology in particular that in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and assisting to conserve this amazing ecosystem. Queen Elizabeth Park is the only Park in Uganda where the Lion Tracking wildlife research is offered. This is not just an activity created for visitors, it is scientific research that is recorded and gives the researchers a better understanding of the habits of the lions found in Queen Elizabeth Park. After the 3 to 4-hour tracking experience, you will meet your driver/guide who will drive you back to the lodge for lunch. At 3.00pm, you will embark on a boat cruise along the Kazinga channel – a major highlight of the safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park. On the boat cruise, you will have the opportunity to view great numbers of wildlife including elephants, crocodiles, hippos, buffaloes and large numbers of birds like eagles, kingfishers, sparrows, doves, weaver birds, eaglets and sun birds converging at the channel waters to enjoy a sip of the natural waters. After the 3-hour boat cruise, you will then return to the lodge (Mweya Safari Lodge) for dinner and overnight stay.

 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 6: Drive to Bwindi via Ishasha sector

This morning, after breakfast and at leisure, drive south to the Ishasha sector of the park. The drive, which will serve as a game drive will last between 2-3 hours. Have your eyes peeled for game especially the large herds of elephants. On arrival in the Ishasha area, we search for the famous and unique tree-climbing lions. If it is a hot day, be sure to find them atop the sycamore fig trees or the acacia trees that dominate this part of the park. There are about 4 Prides of lions in the area numbering more than 40 in total. Look out for the males with their black mane, which is a notable attribute. Also, there are about 1000+ elephants present in the area and you normally see large numbers. There are Topi and Uganda Kob antelopes in large numbers. The drive is a fantastic opportunity to take lots of pictures. You exit the park and continue on to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – which is a 4-hour drive. You arrive and check-in at Buhoma Lodge/Mahogany Springs Lodge or Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge/Chameleon Hill Lodge for overnight stay.

 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 7: Gorilla trek & transfer to Lake Bunyonyi

You are up at 6.00am for a quick breakfast and are transferred to the park headquarters. Here, you are allocated a gorilla family in groups of 8 people/trackers as well as a gorilla trekking guide with armed rangers. After a pre-trekking briefing by the Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers and staff, touching on gorillas generally, your assigned gorilla family as well as the appropriate safety precautions, you are led or driven to the trailhead for the start of a thrilling encounter. Expect to walk/hike for between 2 and 8 hours in steep and sometimes muddy conditions, which can be tough and requires a degree of (average) fitness. However, the thrill of meeting a large Mountain Gorilla family led by a huge Silverback completely makes up for the effort. When you finally locate the family that you are tracking, sit in the forest among the gorillas, listening to them grumble to each other, feed and groom each other, and marvel at the sheer size of the dominant male – the silverback. It is an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense forest in the knowledge you are in the presence of the few remaining Mountain Gorillas in the wild.

After the mandatory 1 hour is up, you will be led back to the starting point where your guide will be waiting for you to commence your transfer to the scenic Lake Bunyonyi – one of Uganda’s best kept secrets where guests can relax after the gorilla trek as they take in the ever-changing scenery of Africa’s deepest lake. Overnight at Sharp Island Gorilla Lodge or Birdnest Resort Bunyonyi

What to bring for gorilla tracking/trekking: light but sturdy hiking shoes, light rain jacket, daypack, 2 litres of water, gardening gloves, long trousers either jeans/khakis, long-sleeved shirt/blouse, wide-brimmed hat, sun glasses, insect repellent and an energy bar.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 8: Drive to Entebbe Airport & Depart

This morning, wake up leisure (8.00am) and enjoy your breakfast. After breakfast, check-out and depart at 9.00am – headed to Entebbe International Airport (please book a departure flight that leaves Entebbe after 7.00pm) via Kampala with a lunch stop in Mbarara town. After lunch, you continue onto Entebbe with another stop at the Equator crossing for some fun photo shoots and a visit to the crafts village. After, you complete your drive and transfer to Entebbe International Airport where your driver/guide will drop you off in time for you to check-in (we advise our clients to check-in online to avoid a delay in case of unforeseen circumstances) for your onward flight back home.

 

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Priced from £3,995 Per Person

 

Including

Accommodation in Standard Rooms in safari lodges/camps and hotel facilities as mentioned in the itinerary.

On the ground transport in a 4X4 Safari Toyota Land-cruiser

Game drives, excursions and sight-seeing activities (if any) as described above

Activities (if any) as outlined in detailed itinerary

Transfers as indicated in the itinerary

Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Gorilla permits

Chimpanzee permits

Lion Tracking permit

Services of an English-speaking driver/tour guide

Bottled water, fruit and snacks whilst on safari

Excluding

Personal expenses such travel and medical insurance, excess baggage fee, communication charges that include, emails, faxes and phone calls beverages including water, soft drinks, luxury champagne, spirits or meals not included in the itinerary

Gratuity for porterage/ waiters at hotels, camps and airports

Gratuity for your professional driver guide

Cost of obtaining Visas ($50)

Any optional tours and excursions not mentioned in the itinerary

Travel Insurance

International Airfare

LET'S START PLANNING
YOUR JOURNEY

 

Whether you are thinking of planning your next trip or would just like to find out some information about one of our marvellous countries we offer, feel free to drop us an email or give us a call!!