7 Days Best of Uganda Wildlifefrom
7 Days Best of Uganda Wildlife Safari gets you face-to-face with endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and searching for wild chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, to spotting tree climbing lions in Ishasha, and getting up close and personal with hippos and Nile crocodiles along the Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, this action-packed Ugandan adventure offers the opportunity for some once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Ultimate
Group Size Large Group
Kibale National Park (formerly Kibale Forest NP) is the best place for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda. Thirteen species of primates have been recorded, which is the highest number for any Ugandan park, and several monkey species can usually be seen on forest walks. Birds and butterflies are abundant.
Kibale is one of the best places in Africa to view many primate species. Visitors can expect to see five or six species in addition to chimpanzee. Species active during the day include vervet, red-tailed, l’Hoest’s and blue monkey, black-and-white colobus, olive baboon, Ugandan red colobus and Uganda mangabey. Other mammals including lion, elephant and buffalo are present but rarely seen.
Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda’s most popular savannah reserve and has the widest variety of wildlife of any Ugandan park. The variety of habitats includes grassland savannah, forests, wetlands and lakes. This provides the setting for an extensive range of large mammals and primates. Four of the Big five are present (rhino are absent) and chimp tracking is available.
This is the most reliable park in Uganda for lion, which is particularly common on the grassy Kasenyi Plains but is more famous for its tree-climbing antics in the Ishasha sector. Huge herds of buffalo and elephant are found in the savannah areas of the park and an amazing number of hippo inhabit the Kazinga channel on which daily boat trips are conducted.
Bwindi Impenetrable NP is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is the best place in Uganda to track mountain gorillas. The park protects around 40% of the world’s mountain gorilla population and has several habituated groups. The forest is also a bird-watcher’s paradise with 350 species recorded, including many Albertine Rift endemics.
Aside from the endangered mountain gorillas, nine other primate species are found in the forest. These include chimpanzee, olive baboon, black-and-white colobus and l’Hoest’s monkey. Elephant are present but seldom seen. Bushbuck and several types of forest duiker can sometimes be spotted. The park has a very impressive bird and butterfly checklist.
- 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)
- International flights (From/to home)
- Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
- Tips (No tip expected but you can Opt to tip your Guide)
- Personal items (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
- Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
- Some meals (As specified in the day-by-day section)
Transfer from Entebbe to Kibale
Upon arrival in Entebbe you will be met by your guide and driven to Kibale Forest to begin your Ugandan safari. As you leave Entebbe you’ll have wonderful views of Lake Victoria and you’ll bypass the busy city of Kampala as you make your way through Uganda’s stunning countryside to your lodge in Fort Portal, at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains and the base of the Kibale Forest.
Chimp Tracking in Kibale Forest
You’ll have an early start this morning as you’ll be required to meet park rangers at 8am for a briefing about your chimp trekking adventure.
After the briefing you’ll head deep into the Kibale Forest to track the troops of chimpanzees that live there. As you trek through the dense rainforest in search of the chimpanzees you’ll hear them screech and hoot around you and it will feel as if the jungle has come alive. Once you’ve found a family of chimpanzees you can spend one hour watching them swing through the trees, play on the forest floor and build nests for their afternoon naps. It is a truly magical experience!
The forest is also home to other primates, including colobus monkeys and red tailed monkeys, plus colourful giant butterflies.
After your chimpanzee trek we recommend the ’swamp walk’ which is a two hour trek through the swamps to meet a local community living in this hostile environment. There is stunning scenery and some incredibly rare wildlife to spot en route.
Kibale Forest to Queen Elizabeth
After breakfast at your lodge in Kibale you’ll travel to Queen Elizabeth National Park at the base of the Rwenzori Mountain range, adjacent to Lake Edward and Lake George. This spectacular national park is full of game and it is known for its large elephant population.
After checking in to your lodge you’ll head out for an afternoon game drive and a sundowner before dinner.
Boat Trip to Kazinga Channel
Today you’ll have a full day to explore Queen Elizabeth National Park. You’ll have morning and afternoon game drives, plus you can also enjoy a boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel (look out for hippos and Nile crocodiles), a guided nature walk in the Maramagambo Forest or you can take an early morning hot air balloon over the savannahs of the Queen Elizabeth NP.
These excursions can be added into your tailor made tour for an extra cost.
Transfer from Queen Elizabeth to Bwindi
Today as you leave Queen Elizabeth National Park you’ll take short drive through Ishasha where you can look out for the famous tree climbing lions. You’ll then continue on your way to Bwindi National Park.
You’ll stay at a lovely lodge on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and this evening you’ll have a briefing about tomorrow’s gorilla trek.
After an early breakfast you’ll drive to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park HQ where you’ll begin your gorilla trek. You will be allocated to one of nine habituated groups and your experienced guide and park ranger will lead you deep into the forest in search of your allocated family. Your trek could last from a few minutes to a full day, depending on the exact location of the specific gorilla family which you’re tracking.
When you meet the gorillas you’ll have the chance to spend up to one magical hour quietly observing them. The gorillas are likely to be just a few metres away from you and they will continue to go about their daily lives – feeding and interacting with each other, under the watchful gaze of the silverback.
In the late afternoon you’ll be transferred back to your accommodation where you can spend the evening reflecting on your incredible encounter with the wild mountain gorillas of Uganda.
Bwindi to Entebbe Airport/Kampala
Wake up early Morning, Enjoy your breakfast at your spectacular lodge. Once you’re ready, your Best of Uganda’s Wildlife tour will come to a perfect end. Our representative will drive you across the scenic Uganda landscapes back to Kampala/Entebbe
Ndali Lodge is high on a hill in the heart of the Buyuruguru Crater Lakes. The eight self-contained stone cottages are spread throughout lush, colourful gardens along a ridge looking out over rolling green cultivated hills lined with banana plantations, dotted with crater lakes, with the rugged Rwenzori mountains as a backdrop. Behind the lodge the hill drops steeply down to the idyllic Lake Nyinambuga. The rooms are large and airy with a private terrace and the en suite bathrooms have large baths and plenty of piping hot water. The main lodge is homely and bright with large windows and French doors leading out to the veranda that runs one side of the house. There is a pool surrounded by sunloungers and a well stocked and diverse library in the main area. Delicious four course meals are served by candlelight around a communal table every evening.
Katara Lodge, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Katara Lodge is a small lodge perched on the hills overlooking the vast savannah plains of the Queen Elizabeth National Park. It is located just outside the park itself, but the Katunguru gate where you access the park is only 15kms away. There are only eight spacious cottages here, so the lodge is very small, meaning you can be assured of personal attention during your stay. Each cottage has a thatched roof, and is perched on stilts on the hillside. There is a large balcony where you can sit and enjoy the view, or if you’re feeling adventurous, they can set up your bed on the balcony so you can sleep under the African stars. Inside, you will find wooden floors, hand-crafted furniture, and an en suite bathroom with a solar-heated shower and a rolltop bath. The main lounge and restaurant area is set higher up the hill, under thatch, and is completely open to the west to enjoy the views out over the plains and the Rwenzori Mountains beyond.
Kibale’s proximity to the equator gives it a temperate climate year-round, with a daily maximum of nearly 27°C/81°F. Temperatures are generally higher in the south of the park, where the altitude drops and the vegetation thins out. There’s no real Dry season to speak of, but the park does have dual Wet seasons (March to May and August to November).