5 Days Uganda Primates Tour – Chimps and Gorillas

On this tour you will track and see two of the big primates in Uganda, Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees. These are the ultimate adventures for nature lovers as they will give you an intimate experience where you walk the road-less-traveled in thick African jungles, observing plenty of life including birds, different species of primates, butterflies, rare plants, insects and more. After the amazing adventures, you wind up the trip with a relaxation experience at Lake Bunyonyi.

Trip specifications

  • Group size: minimum 1 (one) traveler
  • Age limit: must be at least 15 years to do Chimpanzee tracking and Mountain Gorilla trekking, no exceptions
  • To reserve your Chimpanzee and Gorilla permit (s) we need your full names as they appear in your passport, your nationality and passport number
  • Since only 8 people can track a gorilla group in one day, permits get sold out way in advance we therefore advise you book and confirm your tour well in advance
  • Lodges selected for level of comfort, high standard of hospitality, views, eco-friendliness and nearness to the activity places
  • Professional driver/safari guide and 4by4 tour vehicle
  • Tour on full-board accommodation basis

Highlights

  • Fort Portal
  • Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest
  • Nature walk in Bigodi wetland
  • Gorilla tracking in Bwindi
  • Lake Bunyonyi

Day 1: Kampala – Fort Portal – Kibale National Park

Pick-up from Kampala at 7.00am and set out to travel to the western part of Uganda. Arrive in Fort Portal town where you shall stop for lunch. After a short drive out of town, set out for a tour to see the Crater Lakes. Hike up a trail that winds through the lush countryside to the “top of the world” – a vantage point where you are treated to breathtaking views of the beautiful volcanic landscape, crater lakes, the Rwenzori Mountains. Visit the stalactites and stalagmites (interesting features which take the shape of breasts), check out the ancient caves, sparkling waterfalls.

Journey time: 5 hours

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Luxury: Kyaninga Lodge

Mid-range: Primates Lodge

Budget: Kibale Forest Camp

Day 2:  Chimps, Bigodi Wetland

chimpanzee tracking ugandaBe up for early breakfast, and transfer to the briefing station in the park not later than 7.30am. Meet the ranger guides for a briefing of about thirty minutes before setting off into the Kibale Forest to find the delightful Chimpanzees! Kibale has Uganda’s biggest population of Chimps of which includes three communities which have been habituated for the tracking experience. As you trek through the forest there is other wildlife which you can observe especially primates and birds. Grey-cheeked Mangabeys, Red Colobus, and L’Hoest Monkeys are among the many primates in the forest which may see or hear them from a distance. As for the bird lovers or birdwatchers, you have the chance to see or hear some of the over 335 species have been recorded in the park. Finally after a few or several minutes, or a couple of hours, you get to the Chimps which by now are very active; feeding in the fruiting trees, hunting, grooming each other…  Their activity is so much different from what you shall see with the Mountain Gorillas! They move swiftly through the forest, even when they get on ground they still move fast on their knuckles! The views are quite sporadic and rushed so you should have a quality lens if you are to come out with good pictures. They communicate with each other through loud screaming, thunderous slapping of the tree barks and buttress and pant-hoots. When they start vocalizing and swinging through the canopies over your head, you gona get the chills! Observe the Chimps for an hour and get to appreciate their likeliness to humans both in physical appearance and behavior. Return to the lodge in time for lunch.

Later in the day you shall go for a nature walk in the Bigodi wetland which is located on the eastern edge of the park. You shall observe plenty of wildlife. There is over 200 species of birds, 8 primates and several other small mammals. Re-tailed, Vervet and L’Hoest Monkeys, Red Colobus, Mangabeys, Black-and-white Colobus, and Baboons are many of the primates you see. Return to the lodge in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Return to the lodge in the evening for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: Kibale – Ishasha – Bwindi

After breakfast, check out of the lodge and drive to the southwest of Uganda, taking the route through Ishasha, an area south of Queen Elizabeth National Park that has a number of big game, the most famous being the Tree-climbing Lions. There is no guarantee you will spot the Lions, it is merely a drive through and not doing game drive. You have to be keenly browsing through the acacia and grasslands. Elephants, Topis, and Buffaloes are commonly sighted. You will make a stopover in Kihihi for lunch, before proceeding further south, arriving in Bwindi in the late afternoon. Check into the lodge and spend the evening enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Journey time: 6 hours

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Luxury: Buhoma Lodge

Moderate: Silverback Lodge

Budget: Buhoma Community Rest Camp

Day 4: Bwindi – Lake Bunyonyi

mountain gorillas bwindi ugandaHave early breakfast, take lunch boxes (the lodge provides), enough drinking water and a rain jacket, and transfer to the park office by 7.00am for allotting of the Gorilla groups and meet the rangers for pre-trek briefing. You then transfer to the trail head for an amazing adventure in the aptly name “impenetrable” forest. Bwindi has a Mountain Gorilla population of about 400 individuals which is nearly half of the remaining Mountain Gorilla population in the world. Enjoy beautiful views across the forest, observe many rare plants, wildlife and birds. Find the gorillas and spend an unforgettable one hour with them. Return to check out and travel to Lake Bunyonyi for a relaxation experience.

Journey time: 3 hours

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation:

Luxury: Bird’s Nest Lodge

Mid-range: Bird’s Nest Lodge

Budge: Bunyonyi Overland Resort

Day 5: Lake Bunyonyi – Kampala

You will do an early morning canoe ride on Lake Bunyonyi and enjoy the mystic atmosphere many travelers have compared to a scene in the hit movie, “Lord of the Rings”. lake-bunyonyi-ugandaThe lake and surrounding terraced highlands are shrouded in fog. Visit some of the Islands on the lake, observe some wildlife including birds. The term “Bunyonyi” is local term that translates “many birds”. Return to the lodge for breakfast, then check out and leave for Kampala. You shall make a stop in Mbarara for lunch and another at Uganda Equator for some picture moments, and purchase some crafts. Continue to Kampala, arriving in the evening.

Journey time: 7 hours

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch

Tour includes

  • 1 Gorilla permit per person
  • 1 Chimpanzee permit per person
  • Transport in 4WD safari van with pop-up roof
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Accommodation and meals as mentioned in the tour description
  • Bottled water
  • All activities included on the itinerary
  • Taxes and park fees

Tour excludes

  • Visa fees
  • Air fairs
  • Luxury drinks
  • Tips and porterage
  • Travel insurance
  • Laundry and other personal expenditure

What to bring

  • Rain jacket
  • Long trousers & long-sleeved shirt for trekking through the forest
  • Hiking shoes
  • Gaiters
  • Gloves
  • Insect repellant
  • Light clothing & heavy clothing warm and chilly temperatures respectively
  • Cap/hut and sunglasses/shades
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