+256 763690440 reservations@greattripsafaris.com
+256 763690440 reservations@greattripsafaris.com

12-Day Pearl of Africa – Gorillas, Chimpanzee & Wildlife

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Take this 12-day Pearl of Africa –Uganda; trekking gorillas, chimpanzees and wildlife safari. It’s a Big Five wildlife and primates safari. Search for the elusive shoebill stork and visit Africa’s red tapped rhinos. Go to Murchison Falls Park—Uganda’s best all-round wildlife park, Kibale Forest for chimp trekking, Queen Elizabeth NP with its dominant Kazinga Channel, game and tree-climbing lions, Bwindi for gorilla trekking, and finally the stunning stillness of Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Mburo.

Price Includes

  • 11 Nights Hotel Accomodation
  • Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • All transportation in destination location

Price Excludes

  • Guide Service Fee
  • Driver Service Fee
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Room Service Fees

Day 1Visit Mabamba Swamp - the Best Place for Seeing Shoebill Storks and Transfer to Kampala

We will pick you up at your Entebbe or Kampala hotel any time before 1:00 pm (though morning is the best time), and drive to Mabamba Swamp. Search for the most sought after bird in Africa, the ancient looking shoebill stork, along with many other birds in the swamp. It takes about 1 hour to drive from Entebbe to the boat / canoe, mainly on dirt roads, about 50km (1½ hour) west of Kampala.
You will then access the swamp in local fishing boat / Canoe with a local guide.
Pack a nice lunch, take some bottled water along with a good pair of binoculars, hat, sun protection, insect repellent, light rain jacket, long-sleeved shirt, and long trousers—all in your backpack.
Mabamba Swamp is also habitat for countless of water birds including the swamp flycatcher, African purple swamp hen, African water rail, pallid harrier, papyrus gonolek, white-winged warbler, the blue swallow common moorhen, lesser jacana, African jacana, etc.

Day 2Murchison Falls National Park Drive, Stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and Sunset Safari

Depart your hotel in Kampala or Entebbe at 7:30 am and head northward in the direction of Murchison Falls National Park as we begin.
Our first stop is at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Here we’ll track rhinos on foot, a unique and one of a kind experience with competent guides who will give you background and insight about the rhinos and the restoration of rhinos in Uganda.
After rhino tracking, we’ll continue our journey to Murchison Falls National Park and will have lunch at the Red Chili Camp then crossing the Nile by ferry, for our first wildlife game drive. We look forward to spotting lions, giraffes, elephants, leopards, buffaloes, birds, various antelopes plus more. Then we’ll check into either better-budget or a moderately priced lodge depending on your budget on a full board basis.

Day 3Safaris Drive & Boat Safari on the Nile River & Top of Falls Hike

Have an early morning breakfast and set off for the morning game drive where you will see more and new animals and birds as you travel along Lake Albert and through the savannah. You will be glad that you came here and hate to return to the lodging facility for rest and lunch.
After lunch, it is off to one of the major highlights of Murchison Falls National Park, the motorized boat ride on the Nile. You’ll see the crocodiles, many hippos along the bank and in the river, the birds, monkeys, buffaloes, elephants and so much more and of course the bottom of the falls. This is a three-hour trip and it is best to wear a hat and lots of lotion. Use some insect repellent to avoid being bitten by tsetse flies.
At the bottom of the most powerful waterfall in the world, we disembark and hike up the side of the falls to the top where we are met by the driver guide. We’ll then return to the lodge you have chosen for dinner.

Day 4Transfer Kibale Forest National Park via Fort Portal - Approx 8 hour Drive

Have breakfast early and we’ll transfer to Kibale Forest. Drive through some beautiful countryside, which is a bonus along the way. Have lunch along the journey and of course we’ll provide drinking water while in the vehicle as we travel. This will probably be your longest drive (about 8 hours) on your African adventure. Best if we leave not later than 8:00 am in the morning.
Fortunately, this is a scenic drive and we will break it up with lunch along way. Today’s destination is well worth the unfortunate long drive.
We will reach Fort Portal area where you can stay either at budget, moderate or up-scale lodging facilities as you have selected. We will check in and have dinner and rest for the night after a long day of travel. Recommended for the experience (Chimps’ Nest Tree House in the jungle).

Day 5Kibale Forest Chimp Trekking & Afternoon Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary Walk

We’ll head to Kanyankyu River Camp at 8:00 am, just after your early morning breakfast for a pre-tracking briefing. Then we’ll go for the most popular activity in this park—chimpanzee tracking. Chimps are man’s closet cousins though they are one of the most threatened primate’s species. There are several other primate species you will encounter. Best to take a light daypack, one liter of water, your camera equipment and a good set of binoculars. Wear some jeans or long trousers, long-sleeved shirt, light hiking boots and a hat. Tracking is normally about 3½ hours in length and a most memorable time for you. You do have the choice here to either track chimpanzees or to participate in all day chimpanzee habituation experience where you are with researchers and others who are in the process of habituating the chimpanzees. Both chimpanzee habituation or chimpanzee tracking must be well planned ahead of time. Return for lunch at your lodge.

Day 6Move to Queen Elizabeth National Park and Game Drive

Transfer Queen Elizabeth National Park where we’ll check into the lodge. The bush lodge location is overlooking the famous Kazinga Channel, the natural channel connecting Lake Edward and Lake George. Have lunch at the lodge and rest. Late in the afternoon, game drive across the candelabra euphoria tree studded savannah. Nothing to be hurried, if you see something the driver will stop at your beckon. Queen Elizabeth National Park is bordered by the snow-capped 16,000ft Rwenzori Mountains in the north – the “Mountains of the moon”. The 767sq mile conservation area is bordered to the North East by Lake George and on the South West by Lake Edward; its western border connects to the DRC Parc Du Virunga. Look out for teeming herds of impala-like Uganda kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog and Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally. Return to the lodge for dinner and your overnight rest.

Day 7Morning Safari Drive and Afternoon Kazinga Channel Launch Cruise

There is nothing like a breakfast while on safari and there is nothing like the smell of it as you awaken. It is off to a morning game drive catching some of the nocturnal animals as they call it a night. As you drive, there is nothing like a herd of elephants moving across the track ahead of you, lions in the distant savanna grass, buffaloes grazing in the early morning hour, birds flying overhead, and maybe a rock python here or there. The game track rides last about 2½ – 3 hours but you won’t even realize it as time flies.
Have lunch at the lodge go on a boat ride along the Kazinga Channel where there are hippos, hippos and more hippos. Hopefully you find an open mouthed hippo for a great shot. It has highest concentration of hippos in Africa. At one time there were too many hippos and their grazing denuded the surrounding grasslands. Before independence they would be culled by the wildlife authorities. See hundreds of birds of all kinds, some crocodiles, elephants and buffaloes.

Day 8Head South to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park via Ishasha, the Tree Climbing Lion Region of QENP

We’ll move to the unvisited portion of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Ishasha—a 2½ hour drive. We’ll have a game drive and our focus is the tree climbing lions of Ishasha. This is best park in East Africa to watch the lions sleep the day way up in the fig trees. Ishasha is the best place for tree climbing lions in East Africa. Not only will we see tree-climbing lions but leopards, elephant herds, buffalo herds, topi antelopes along with other species. Often you will not find many other vehicles in this area of QENP.
Have lunch at Savannah Resort and then we’ll take a 2½-hour drive to Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This plan is very situational as it entirely relies on the weather season of the time you are visiting. There is much difficulty accessing this part of the park during rainy seasons and it’s advisable not to take chances. It doesn’t matter what kind of 4×4 vehicle you are using. PS: This game drive is optional and not included at the time of costing this safari.

Day 9Mountain Gorilla Trekking - Ruhija/Buhoma Region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Have breakfast and proceed to the pre-briefing point. Enjoy the highlight of your trip—gorilla trekking, which may last from 3 to 8 hours. We trek through the rainforest and bamboo covered slopes, accompanied by a Uganda Wildlife Authority guide and other trackers, in search of a mountain gorilla family. The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. Gorillas move to a new location daily and never stay in the same place, twice. When sighted, visitors will be guided to within 5 metres from the gorillas, sit around them for not more than one hour while gazing into their big round eyes. A party of not more than 8 will be allowed to visit a gorilla family each day. Children under 15 are not permitted. There’s a 99% chance for you to see the gorillas.
After the trek, you just might want to relax, have a cold drink and reflect on your adventure today in the ancient forest of Bwindi.

Day 10Lake Bunyonyi – The Magical & Stunningly Beautiful Lake in Uganda - For Exploration and Relaxation

Lake Bunyonyi is another major tourist stopover that is undeniably amazing. Lonely Planet describes it as a magical, mystical lake that is like a scene from Lord of the Rings according to Lonely Planet. It is a short drive here and it will not be long before we check into your lodge. Have lunch at the Eco Resort, relax and enjoy the lake, the setting, the many birds and butterflies found here. The area, known as “little Switzerland”, and is a good place to relax. A lot of overland campers think so too! It has swimmable water but be careful to avoid reedy bits, there are no crocodiles, no hippos, no bilharzia to contract here. Late afternoon, you can enjoy an optional sunset cruise on Lake Bunyonyi—there will be a guide to give you background and history of the lake and islands. It’s a must stop for committed birders and besides, its serpentine shape and the 29 Islands are highlights one must look out for. Nature walks are also possible.

Day 11Lake Bunyonyi – Lake Mburo & Afternoon Boat Ride

Have breakfast, and head to Lake Mburo National Park, that is another beautiful park nearby. Check out the lovely Kigezi Highlands, the scenery is simply soothing to the eye in the evergreen state of Africa. You can stay at one of the classy up-market tented camps that are eco-friendly and simply one of the nicest places you have ever stayed at on the budget. Arrive and check in at Eagles Nest Lodge.
After lunch, go for the afternoon boat safari on Lake Mburo, where you will see several other lakes such as Kazuma and Lake Bwa. Gaze at the huge hippos, crocodiles and buffaloes as they drink water. There are attractive birds to check out like abyssinian ground hornbill, the crested crane (Uganda’s national emblem), saddle bill storks among others. You can do an optional guided nature walk. Return to the lodge for dinner and a quiet overnight in the midst of the African savannah.

Day 12Short Morning Game Drive & and Transfer to Kampala/Entebbe International Airport

Have breakfast and a morning game drive through the savannah. Check out Uganda’s wildlife besides the mountain gorillas in Bwindi such as zebra, warthog, buffalo, klipspringer, eland, oribi and waterbuck. Lake Mburo National Park, a haven for “impalas” small antelopes and herbivorous which are most concentrated in Lake Mburo of all the Ugandan national parks. There is more to impalas, Kampala; Uganda’s capital derives its name from it’s beautiful animal. A horseback safari or ATV quad safari tour are also possible. The choice is yours.
On the way we’ll stop at Masaka for lunch. Then drive towards Kampala stopping at Nabusanke Trading Center where you can stand on the equator, take pictures and also buy some souvenirs and crafts. Proceed to Mpambire where you can observe the Buganda Royal Drum Makers and even buy a few. Continue our homeward journey and arrive in Entebbe late in the afternoon.


How much is a gorilla permit?

Gorilla permit is at $800

Gorilla Habituation is at $1500

Which currency is most widely accepted on this tour?

– Austria – Euro (EUR)
– USA – USD ($)
– France – Euro (EUR)
– Germany – Euro (EUR)
– Italy – Euro (EUR)
– Netherlands – Euro (EUR)
– Switzerland – Swiss franc (CHF)
– United Kingdom – Pound sterling (£)

What is cancellation policy?

2 weeks in advance prior to the safari

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