Rated Excellent on TripAdvisor – Over 1,000 happy guests since 2009

Your Safety is our Top Priority | Experienced Tour Guides | Unforgettable Gorilla Trekking Tours 

info@bwindi-gorillatrekking.com
gorilla-trekking-uganda.jpg

Arrive Entebbe and overnight. Travel to Sipi with a visit to the Source of the Nile en route. Proceed to Pian Upe Game Reserve and then explore Kidepo Valley. From Kidepo, head to Murchison Falls and experience the roaring rapids of the Murchison. Proceed to Kibale Forest for chimp tracking and then into Queen Elizabeth. Exit Queen via Ishasha sector (known for tree-climbing lions) into Bwindi for ultimate gorilla trekking. From Bwindi, head to Lake Mburo and finally fly out from Entebbe.

Tour Summary

  • You’ll go to Uganda Uganda
  • You’ll visit Sipi Falls (Highlight), Pian-Upe WR, Kidepo Valley NP, Murchison Falls NP, Kibale NP, Queen Elizabeth NP, Bwindi NP & Lake Mburo NP
  • This tour starts and ends in Entebbe

 

Tour Features

Mid-range tour

This mid-range tour uses lodges and tented camps.

Private tour

This tour will be run exclusively for you and won’t be shared with others.

Can start any day

If availability permits, this tour can start on any day.

Can be customized

You can request minor changes to the accommodation and destinations of this tour.

Suitable for solo travelers

Solo travelers can book this private tour.

15

Minimum age of 15 years

The minimum for this tour is 15 years.

 

Activities & Transportation

  • Activities: game drivesgorilla trekkingchimpanzee trekkingnature hikes/walks & boat trip

  • Game drives: pop-up roof 4×4 vehicle & pop-up roof minivan

  • Getting around: pop-up roof 4×4 vehicle & pop-up roof minivan

  • transfer from and back to the airport (or hotel) is included

Day 1: Arrive Entebbe and overnight in the booked accommodation

Upon arrival at Entebbe International Airport you will be received by a Home to Africa assigned driver/guide who will welcome you to Uganda – the Pearl of Africa. Thereafter, you will be transferred to the booked accommodation in Kampala. In case you have had an early landing into Uganda, you may opt for a late afternoon ride around the city of Kampala. Else, check-in and have enough rest awaiting dinner and overnight stay.

Main Destination:
Entebbe
Accommodation:

Nexus Resorts Hotel

  • Mid-range hotel located in or near Entebbe
Meals & Drinks:
  • Dinner (Breakfast & lunch not included)
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 2: Drive to Jinja, Visit the source of the Nile and continue to Sipi Falls

Have breakfast and then drive off to Jinja. En route, you will drive through Mabira Forest then head to Jinja where the Nile begins its flow to the Mediterranean Sea. Visit the Source of the Nile then proceed to Mbale Town where you will have lunch before continuing to the booked accommodation in Sipi. Arrive, check into the lodge and proceed to explore the nearby Sipi Falls which is a set of 3 falls. The views are breathtaking, the hike takes about 2½ hours and make for a great afternoon (evening). Return for dinner and overnight stay.

Main Destination:
Sipi Falls
Accommodation:

Rafiki Lodge Sipi

  • Mid-range lodge located in or near Sipi Falls
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 3: Go explore Pian Upe Game Reserve then proceed to Kara-tunga Safari Camp

Be up early and have your breakfast then proceed for game viewing in the pristine Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve. Pian Upe is located between Mt. Elgon NP and Kidepo Valley NP and was established as a game (wildlife) reserve in the 1960s. The Reserve is part of the Mount Elgon Conservation Area (MECA).
During this game drive, look out for Pian Upe’s inhabitants such as: common elands, plain zebras, the greater kudu, magnificent reptiles e.g. rock pythons, puff adders and savanna monitor lizards and the only remaining numbers of roan antelope in the whole of Uganda. It is also only in Pian Upe that you can be able to see cheetahs while on a Uganda safari. After the game drive and of course (packed) lunch, exit Pian Upe then head out for Kara-tunga Safari Camp where you will have your dinner and the overnight stay.

Main Destination:
Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve
Accommodation:

Kara-Tunga Safari Camp

  • Budget tented camp
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 4: Transfer to Kidepo Valley NP and undertake afternoon (evening) game viewing

Have breakfast and drive off to Kidepo Valley National Park, arriving early for some rest and lunch before going out for game viewing. You will proceed for game viewing in the Narus Valley in the south sector of Kidepo.
Narus is the sector of Kidepo that has savannah grasslands mixed with acacia woodland. It is also the area of the park with permanent water sources throughout the year and for that matter most of the animals are found in this part of the park. During the hot afternoons, many animals collect around the water points. Expect to see large herds of Buffaloes, lots of Zebras, and antelope species and surely the lions. You will return to the accommodation for dinner and overnight stay.

Main Destination:
Kidepo Valley National Park
Accommodation:

Kidepo Savannah Lodge (Safari Tent)

  • Mid-range tented camp bordering Kidepo Valley NP without fences
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 5: Morning game drive and (optional) Karamojong community, cultural encounter

Enjoy your breakfast then embark on yet another game drive into the park but this time head to Kidepo Valley in the northern sector. The biggest highlight in this area is the famous sand bed of River Kidepo that is a seasonal river that does not flow during the long dry spells. It is lined with lush Borassus palms, creating a sight akin to an oasis in a desert. Enjoy the sights and sounds of birds in the Borassus palm.
Also, be on the look for ostriches, leopard (though a rare sighting) and tortoises along the way. You may choose to have packed lunch or return for lunch at the accommodation. Later (if interested), you may proceed out for some community, cultural encounter (at an additional cost as may be specified on the ground). You will spend a wonderful afternoon (evening) with the Karamojong people and have an insight of their way of life and beliefs. At the end of the day, you will retire to your accommodation where you will enjoy your dinner and overnight rest.

Main Destination:
Kidepo Valley National Park
Accommodation:

Kidepo Savannah Lodge (Safari Tent)

  • Mid-range tented camp bordering Kidepo Valley NP without fences
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 6: Exit Kidepo and Travel to Murchison Falls National Park

After an early breakfast, check out of the accommodation and travel to Murchison Falls National Park. The highlights of this park include: the roaring rapids of the Murchison, the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest National Park where you will have the chance of viewing lions, giraffes, hartebeest, buffalo, and elephants. Then surely you will be fascinated by the concentration of hippos and the Nile crocodiles here.
For any birder, Murchison Falls boasts 450 bird species including the dwarf king fisher, the white-thigh hornbill, and the Goliath heron among others. You will reach Murchison and do little but check into your accommodation then have some rest. Later, you will enjoy your meal and the overnight stay awaiting next day’s activities.

Main Destination:
Murchison Falls National Park
Accommodation:

Pakuba Safari Lodge

  • Mid-range lodge located inside Murchison Falls NP
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 7: Undertake morning game drive and the afternoon boat trip to the base of the falls

Have your breakfast, depart for an early morning game drive across the rolling plains of Uganda’s largest National Park where you will have the opportunity of viewing lions, giraffes, hartebeest, buffalo and elephants among others. For any birder, this area supports the secretary bird and black chested snake eagle to name a few. Return to your accommodation for some rest time and lunch.
After lunch you will head out for the boat trip to the base of Murchison Falls where you will also be able to catch sight of more animals including Hippos and Crocodiles and several water birds. Continue with a hike (if you like) to the top of the falls. The hike may be a strenuous one but the thrill on reaching the top is unforgettable. Miss it only if you must. Return to your accommodation and have a relaxed evening.

Main Destination:
Murchison Falls National Park
Accommodation:

Pakuba Safari Lodge

  • Mid-range lodge located inside Murchison Falls NP
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 8: Exit Murchison National Park and transfers to Kibale Forest National Park

After breakfast at your accommodation, depart right away for Kibale Forest National Park. The drive is incredibly scenic, passing through villages, lush green countryside and hills dotted with tea plantations which characterize this part of Uganda.
Kibale NP is popular for its primates like the chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, grey cheeked mangabeys and red tailed monkeys. On your chimpanzee trails, these are regularly seen swinging in the forest trees and others feeding on the wild fruits. You will reach and do little but check into your accommodation where you will have dinner and the overnight rest.

Main Destination:
Kibale National Park
Accommodation:

Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

  • Budget guest house located just outside Kibale NP
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 9: Chimp tracking Kibale and Transfer to Queen Elizabeth National Park

Have breakfast and head to the rangers’ point where you will receive some briefing on the dos and don’ts during chimp trekking. Thereafter, you will proceed to trek the chimps in the Kibale Forest. An experienced ranger guide will take you chimp tracking and you will be marveled by the sights of primates here. Once you locate the chimpanzees, you will have a full hour in their presence. You will return to the lodge for lunch after which you will depart for Queen Elizabeth National Park. You will arrive in the evening and overnight at your booked accommodation.

Main Destination:
Queen Elizabeth National Park 
Accommodation:

The Bush Lodge (Banda)

  • Mid-range lodge located just outside Queen Elizabeth NP
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 10: Queen’s morning game drive and afternoon boat trip on the Kazinga Channel

Be up early and have your breakfast. Proceed for a morning game drive to the Kasenyi plains and be on the look for: Lions, Elephants, Bush bucks, Cape Buffaloes, Defassa Waterbucks, Giant Forest Hogs, Uganda kob, among others. Return to your accommodation for some rest time and lunch.
After lunch, you will go for a 2-hour boat trip on the Kazinga Channel which connects Lakes George and Edward and you will surely be fascinated by the concentrations of giant hippos, elephants and crocodiles among others. You will also see many varieties of birds at the water shores. You will have dinner and overnight at your accommodation.

Main Destination:
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Accommodation:

The Bush Lodge (Banda)

  • Mid-range lodge located just outside Queen Elizabeth NP
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 11: Transfer to Bwindi with en route game viewing in the Ishasha area

Have breakfast then set off for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park – famously known for its resident tree-climbing lions. The chance of spotting these lions is about 70% though sometimes they are really hard to spot (most especially when they’re down in the grassland looking for prey). Hoping you get the chance to spot them, the sight will be spectacular!
Continue to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi is a big habitat for mountain gorillas in Uganda (harboring an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population), including several habituated groups, which can be tracked. With a strenuous day ahead, you will do less on arrival but just check in your accommodation, relax as you prepare for the Bwindi gorilla trekking experience the following day.

Main Destination:
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Accommodation:

Bakiga Lodge

  • Budget lodge located just outside Bwindi NP
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 12: Go out for gorilla trekking, then optional community, cultural encounter or relax

After an early breakfast and a briefing by a ranger guide, you will enter the gorilla sanctuary for your adventure. The beauty of this rain forest is spectacular! The area offers dramatic steeply forested landscape and is incredibly dense, but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access to tourists. The time taken and the terrain vary with the movements of these great primates. Once you locate a gorilla group, you will be allowed an hour in their presence. The thrill of spending time observing these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome, exciting experience to be long savored.
Return for lunch in your accommodation. If time and energy allow, you may take an optional community visit and interact with the local community after the gorilla tracking. Return to your accommodation, enjoy your evening, dinner and overnight.

Main Destination:
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Accommodation:

Bakiga Lodge

  • Budget lodge located just outside Bwindi NP
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 13: Transfer to Lake Mburo NP and enjoy afternoon (evening) game viewing

Have breakfast and set off to Lake Mburo NP. Drive past the intensely terraced Kigezi hill slopes into Mbarara town and finally Lake Mburo NP. Arrive in the park in the early afternoon and take some rest before proceeding out for the late afternoon (evening) game viewing. On the game drive, expect to see the gigantic eland antelopes, zebras in big numbers, topis, impalas, warthogs, Uganda kob and Cape buffalos among others. Later, relax at the accommodation where you will spend the night.
Optional: In case you’re interested, you may go out for the breathtaking Mburo night game drive. During the night game drive, expect to sight nocturnal creatures including huge snakes, python, hyena, owls and the elusive leopard (on a lucky day) among others. However, the cost for the night game drive is excluded and payable on the ground (as may be specified).

Main Destination:
Lake Mburo National Park
Accommodation:

Rwakobo Rock

  • Mid-range lodge located just outside Lake Mburo NP
Meals & Drinks:
  • All meals included
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

Day 14: Mburo park (nature) walk and transfer to Entebbe Airport for your flight out

Enjoy your early breakfast and proceed for the Mburo morning park/nature walk in the presence of an armed Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger/guide. On this early morning guided walk, you often encounter hyenas that are returning to their dens after a night of being on the prowl. Also, you will have the opportunity to encounter (at close range): Zebras, Giraffes and Eland, Topi and other antelope, Cape buffaloes among others.
Take the Trail to the top of the hills and see Lake Mburo and beyond. From this vantage point, you will have a great view of 9 of the twelve lakes surrounding Lake Mburo NP. Thereafter, return to the accommodation for checkout and then hit the road to Entebbe airport for your flight out (recommended for 18:00 onward). 

Main Destination:
Entebbe International Airport
Accommodation:
No accommodation (End of tour)
Meals & Drinks:
  • Breakfast & lunch (Dinner not included)
  • Drinking water (Other drinks not included)

 

End of tour

Rates Per Person

 Solo: 1 room2 people: 1 room3 people: 2 rooms4 people: 2 rooms5 people: 3 rooms6 people: 3 rooms7+ people 
 $4,928$3,388$3,244$2,956$2,924$2,788Get Quote

Included

  • Park fees(For non-residents)
  • Gorilla permits(One per person, non-resident)
  • Chimp permits(One per person, non-resident)
  • All activities(Unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation(Unless listed as upgrade)
  • A professional driver/guide
  • All transportation(Unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • Meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinking water(On all days)

Excluded

  • International flights(From/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips(Tipping guideline US$10.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items(Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
  • Some meals

WHY BOOK TRIP WITH US?

Rated Excellent on Tripadvisor – Over 1,000 happy guests since 2009
Gorilla permits guaranteed
Local Tour Operator based in Uganda & Rwanda
Highly trained & experienced tour leaders/guides
Safety is our #1 Priority
Affordable and unforgettable tours and excursions
All our tours are available in budget & luxury versions
Travelling in small groups (2-12 persons)
Individual tailor-made safaris possible
Drive around in the best 4WD Toyota LandCruisers
English speaking Ugandan drivers and guides
Group tours single friendly

Gorilla & Chimps Permits
It is not possible to ‘reserve’ gorilla and chimpanzee permits. Therefore we can only buy them after your booking and down-payment and also here it all depends on availability.

Gorilla permits in Uganda cost: US$600.00
Chimpanzee permits in Uganda cost: US$150

Our tour guides/drivers

We understand that the bulk of our customers are keen on good guiding practices and as such we hire only the best on the market. The majority of our accredited safari guides, fixers, drivers and translators have undergone extensive training on the standard operating procedures of tours and excursions some with long standing experience as former Uganda Wildlife Authority park rangers with a wealth of Knowledge on Uganda’s flora and fauna as well as the history, culture and geography of Uganda.

The company regularly takes the guides through refresher courses on emerging skills requirements as demanded by the ever changing global tourism market often facilitated by the Uganda Safari guides Association in partnership with other stakeholders such as the Uganda Bird Guides club and conservation societies.

Fitness Level:

The trekking for gorillas can be strenuous as the conditions may be muddy and steep. We have no real way of knowing how far away the gorilla families will be so there could be a hike of up to 4 hours until we come across the gorillas. So a good level of fitness is required and participants must be used to walking.

Moderate walking / Strenuous walking / Walking safari / The chimpanzee full day habituation experience requires a good level of fitness as the walking will be through hot and humid dense rainforest. Chimps can move quickly through the forest and to follow them can mean marches for 30 mins or so until we catch up with them again. The experience can finish whenever you wish but we can be there for 12 hours if you wish, so be prepared for a long day walking through the forest.

The gorilla tracking in Bwindi National Park(Uganda) can be between 1 and 4 hours and the ridges here are very steep, the tracking in Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda) can also be between 1 and 4 hours long and include steep climbs. Both places are dense with vegetation and the weather can be either cool and wet or hot and sunny. We require all guests to be aware of the physical effort needed to see wild chimps and gorillas and require everyone to have a good level of fitness and be used to hill walking.

Seasons: 

The tracking of gorillas and chimpanzees is available all year around. However due to two wet seasons we recommend the between early June and mid October and then again from early December to late February.
As the rain forests and montane forests where these primates live are tropical the weather is pretty constant year around, the only significant climatic factor are the two wet season. So we recommend the dry seasons of early June to mid October and then again from early December to late February. However it can certainly rain heavily at any time of the year.

Equipment:

When you book onto the tour we will send you a comprehensive pre-departure pack which will include a full packing list of recommended equipment; but as a rule of thumb we recommend you bring along your own binoculars or spotting scope(although this is not always very useful in the forests) as well as appropriate clothing; which should be hard wearing clothing which you do not mind getting muddy.

Long trousers and long sleeved shirts are a good idea as the vegetation in the forests can be spiny and there are some stinging nettles, for the days travelling shorts and short sleeves are recommended. The nights can be chilly so a fleece is not a bad idea. Water proofs are essential and ponchos not a bad idea either. Comfortable and broken in, water proof walking boots with ankle support are a must. Insect repellent is needed. Any medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera. Also do not forget sun cream, sun hat and sun glasses as the sun can be very strong here during the day.

Minimum Age: 15 Years old

 

Uganda

Uganda, or the ‘Pearl of Africa’, as it was famously dubbed by Winston Churchill, is characterised by relatively dry and flat savanna in the north, with verdant mountains in the West, and vast dense and remarkably lush forests in the central region. The nation is home to an astonishingly diverse range of African wildlife including the highly endangered mountain gorilla which can be found in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

A popular spot for wildlife watching is Queen Elizabeth National Park, which hosts four of the Big Five, a flock of flamboyant flamingos and the rare tree-climbing lions of Ishasha. Outdoor enthusiasts can get their adrenaline fix with plenty of whitewater rafting, kayaking, hiking, quad biking and horse riding facilities on offer. Add to this some friendly locals, a burgeoning cultural scene, and a capital city full of lively bars, clubs and restaurants, and it is easy to see why Uganda has gained itself a reputation as ‘Africa’s friendliest country’.

Currency

The local currency is the Uganda Shilling (UGX). Notes are in denominations of UGX50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2,000 and 1,000. Coins are in denominations of UGX500, 200, 100, 50, 10, 5, 2 and 1. However, UGX1,000 notes are soon to be replaced by coins. Try not to accept very old or damaged notes where possible, as some places may refuse to take them.

The US dollar, euro and pound sterling are all recognised currencies in Uganda, and both euros and dollars are now widely accepted for cash payments. Other international currencies may also be accepted in some places in the major cities, although visitors may struggle with other currencies in

The import and export of local currency is prohibited. Import of foreign currency is unlimited if declared upon arrival. Export of foreign currency must not exceed the amount declared upon arrival.

Foreign currency may be exchanged at the Central Bank, commercial banks and foreign exchange bureaux. Be aware that dollar notes from before 2006 will not be accepted for exchange.smaller towns.

Banking

Banking hours: Generally Mon-Fri 0830-1400, Sat 0900-1200. Forex bureaux are open until 1700 and able to do electronic transfers to and from overseas.

American Express, Diners, MasterCard and Visa credit cards are sometimes accepted but not widely used. Some large hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and shops in urban areas accept credit cards.

ATMs are available in the larger cities but ATM services in smaller towns and rural areas are limited. It is advisable to check with your bank to see if your card is compatible with Ugandan ATMs.

Traveller’s cheques are not widely accepted outside Kampala. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling. It is advised that travellers bring sufficient US dollars in cash in case of emergencies. Higher denomination bills usually give a better exchange rate than smaller notes.


Visas and Entry Requirements

Uganda

Visas for Uganda for most nationalities must be obtained through an Electronic Visa application online in advance, and a payment of $50 USD cash will have to be made upon arrival to the border.


** Please be advised that a valid yellow fever vaccination card is mandatory for entry into Uganda.


Emergency Fund
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ’emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Tipping
Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of your tour program. The gesture serves as an expression of appreciation for exceptional service, and amounts given are up to your discretion.

Tipping is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal ‘thank you’, and the action should in no way be awkward.

The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelope. This often works the best and the group should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).

You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per person format:

Local guides: $2-3 USD (per day).
Safari Guide/Driver: $2-3 USD (per day).
Restaurant Staff: 10-15% of cost of bill.
Gorilla trekking guides: $2-4 (per day).

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

International Flights
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

 

Close Menu