Uganda Habituation Experiences for Gorillas, Chimps & Golden Monkeys, Lions & Rhinos Tracking Safari -13 Days

 
 

DETAILED ITERARY

Day 1: Arrival at Entebbe Airport, Optional “Behind the Scenes” Tour at Uganda Wildlife Education Center (Entebbe zoo).

Upon arrival at Entebbe airport, you are met by your safari guide. Go through the program for your stay here in detail before being transferred to your hotel in Entebbe. If you will be arriving early in the day, you could choose to visit the Uganda Wildlife Education Center for some intimate time with the wildlife here.

In this specially arranged "behind the scenes"  experience, you will observe the animals’ behaviour and experience first hand how the keepers feed the lions, carry out health checks, or bring them back to their holding facilities. Have the luxury of a privileged few and visit the food preparation areas, the pharmacy, the exhibits and much, much more. This way you can say that you have truly visited the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre.

 

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Protea Mariott Hotel - Entebbe

Moderate: Lake Heights Entebbe Hotel by Bon or 2 Friends Beach Hotel

Budget: African Roots Guesthouse Entebbe

 

Day 2: TRANSFER TO NGAMBA ISLAND CHIMPS SANCTUARY FOR OVERNIGHT EXPERIENCE

After breakfast we will head out to waterfront club jetty located on Lake Victoria to catch a boat to Ngamba Island 23kms from Entebbe town. On our way we will cross the  Equator on Lake Victoria where the captain will make a stop to take pictures and swimming (optional).

At the island you will be welcomed by your guide and check in at an East African style Tented Camp on the island overlooking Lake Victoria with en-suite bathroom facilities and solar lighting. Later you will view the chimpanzees feeding at a very close distance on a raised platform where you will observe the chimpanzee behaviors as they eat, play and rest.

In the afternoon, participate in bird watching, spot necked otter counting and other wildlife. Later participate in the behind the scenes activities; observing chimps as they return, feed and prepare their nests.

As the day ends you can  join in for an exclusive sunset cruise as you enjoy the unique view of fishermen casting their nets, fishing villages as they wind down the day and of course the golden circular site of nature’s eye going to sleep. As you sip away on cold drinks in a romantic bliss.

On return after dinner,  join the camp staff as they work you through the cultures of Uganda through music, dance, storytelling and drama.

Dinner and overnight at Ngamba Island Tented Camp.

 

Day 3: Challenge Chimp critical thinking; Transfer to Ziwa Rhinos Sanctuary 

Have a breakfast at the Ngamba Restaurant

Take part in the Chimp environmental enrichment program which will involve you to challenge the chimps’ critical thinking abilities as to help them stay health, physically and mentally. 

View a chimp feeding then board your boat for a ride back to the mainland where you will meet your guide for your drive Ziwa Rhinos Sanctuary (3 hours drive).

We check in to Amuka Lodge at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Not only will you enjoy the Lodge itself,  but the food is simply fabulous both in serving tasty dishes and their presentation to you.

 

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Amuka Lodge

Moderate: Amuka Lodge

Budget: Ziwa Rhino Camp (Guesthouse Rooms)

 

Day 4:  ZIWA RHINOS SANCTUARY, DRIVE TO MURCHISON FALLS NP

After breakfast, you will go to meet the Rhinos, not just from a vehicle but up close – great opportunities of these fabulous animals – there is other wildlife to be found here, so keep your eyes open so you do not miss any and your guide will also point any other animals.

Birders will find this a most fascinating place and best to keep the binoculars handy since an abundance of bird species is found here. 

Return to the lodge for check-out before  your journey to Murchison Falls NP. After 2.5 hours of driving we enter the park stopping by at the top of the falls which is a fantastic sight. Here the Nile, the longest river in the world, is forced through a narrow gap in the rock (only 7 meters wide), before ferociously plunging down 43 meters. 

 

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Baker's Lodge |  Paraa Safari Lodge

Moderate: Fort Murchison Lodge | Murchison River Lodge | Pakuba Lodge

Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (tents) | Murchison River Lodge (tents) | Red Chilli Rest Camp

 

Day 5: Murchison Falls National Park | Game Drive | Boat Trip

After breakfast head to the delta in search for bird life and enjoy the game drive to look for lions, giraffes, herds of elephants, buffaloes and many more. We will drive back to the lodge for lunch before taking an afternoon boat cruise to the foot of Murchison Falls.

This boat trip along the Nile is often cited as being the highlight of a trip to Murchison since it allows you to get up-close and personal with the animals. Along this stretch of the river, there are reported to be around 4,000 hippos in addition to some enormous Nile crocodiles. The bird life is stunning with brightly coloured kingfishers and bee-eaters darting along the riverbanks. If lucky, you may see the rare and prehistoric looking shoebill, which is a cross between the dodo and a dinosaur. The boat takes you to the base of the falls which only adds to their impressiveness.

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Baker's Lodge| Paraa Safari Lodge

Moderate: Fort Murchison Lodge | Murchison River Lodge | Pakuba Lodge

Budget: Fort Murchison Lodge (tents) | Murchison River Lodge (tents) | Red Chilli Rest Camp

 

Day 6: Kibale National Park & Fort Portal

Leave Murchison Falls National Park for Kibale Forest National Park via the Lake Albert escarpment, having a good view of the lake. Stopover at Kolping Hotel in Hoima for lunch and after drive across the interesting river Nkusi (flowing from the southern end of Lake Albert, through the villages of Kagadi, joining Victoria Nile). Both rivers join Lake Kyoga and flow through the Murchison Falls continue to Lake Albert and north to the Mediterranean sea.

Traveling on both asphalt and unpaved roads, you pass through traditional Ugandan villages where you see people at work tending their traditional crops of millet, sorghum, beans and maize. The lush rolling hills of this region provide good photo opportunities.

As you approach Fort Portal in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, you enter Uganda's famous tea plantation region. A carpet of green spreads before you, as far as the eye can see, and seems an unusual contrast to the countryside through which you have just passed.

You arrive at Fort Portal, then, continue toward Kibale Forest, one of the great African rainforest research reserves. Years of study by scientists (who have cut a grid through the forest) have habituated many of its animals to human observers. This forest is famed for the variety of primates found here and it is a terrific area for birds. This rural Ugandan town is locally famous for its weaving and basketry, and we can spend some time briefly to examine some of this local art.

Fort Portal is a small and attractive city. The fort was built between 1891 and 1893 and named after Sir Gerald Portal, the British Consul General of Zanzibar who arrived in Uganda in 1892 to formalise the protectorate of Uganda. He died of malaria a few months after the fort was completed.

 

Accommodation Options (Full Board)

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Crater Safari Lodge| Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Isunga Lodge| Kibale Forest Camp

Budget: Kibale Forest Camp | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

 

Day 7: Chimpanzee Habituation Experience Plus Other Primates

Today we’ll accompany Kibale’s researchers in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to a “soft” habituation project with chimpanzees. You’ll learn to safely observe the chimps during their daily activities, so they get comfortable with human presence without changing their natural behaviours. You will be able to experience the chimp families as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate, and breastfeed.

Guided by biologists and researchers, we will enjoy unprecedented intimate access to these wild chimps for the entire day until they build their nests at bedtime.

 

Overnight Lodges/ Camps:

Up-market: Kyaninga Lodge | Crater Safari Lodge| Primate Lodge Kibale | Ndali Lodge

Moderate: Isunga Lodge| Kibale Forest Camp

Budget: Kibale Forest Camp | Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse

 

Day 8: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Viewing Rwenzoris, Crater Lakes & Wild Animals

We then drive to Queen Elizabeth. The game seen will depend on the season; the Kasenyi plains are good for lion and the Mweya peninsula for a variety of animals.

Shift to Queen Elizabeth National Park this morning (about 3 hours driving). Leaving through Fort Portal town, you turn south and early this afternoon enter Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is dominated on its northern border by the snow-capped 16,000 foot Rwenzori Mountains - the famed "Mountains of the Moon".

This 767 square-mile conservation area is bordered on the north-east by Lake George and on the south-west by Lake Edward; its western border adjoins the Congo Parc du Virunga. You will expect to see teeming herds of impala-like Uganda kob, as well as topi, elephant and lion, giant forest hog, Cape buffalo. There are also several soda lakes filling ancient volcanic calderas where flamingos reside seasonally.

 

Overnight Lodges/ Camps:

Up-market: Mweya  Lodge | Katara Lodge| Mazike Lodge

Moderate: Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge| Bush Lodge

Budget: Bush Lodge | Simba Safari Camp

 

Day 9: Queen Elizabeth National Park, Jeep Safari, Lion Tracking, Boat Safari

See a different face of the park as we venture off road with a research team to track lions and contribute to a valuable lion research project in the Ishasha Sector. The researchers' Land-cruiser is fitted with radio-collar-receiving equipment. You get a full briefing on the animals with opportunity for as much lion photography as you can manage.

After a leisurely lunch on the Mweya Peninsula we’ll enjoy a two hour boat safari along the Kazinga Channel. This affords the opportunity to view wildlife up close: hippo’s huff and spray and buffalo linger in the shallows. The shores of the channel are also home to an array of birds including pink backed pelicans, pied and malachite kingfishers, saddle billed stork and many others.

 

Overnight Lodges/ Camps:

Up-market: Mweya  Lodge | Katara Lodge| Mazike Lodge

Moderate: Ihamba Lakeside Safari Lodge| Bush Lodge

Budget: Bush Lodge | Simba Safari Camp

 

Day 10: Tree-climbing Lions, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

After breakfast we drive further south through stunning savannah grasslands as we head to the southern sector of the park – Ishasha. This is the best area to see the famous tree-climbing lions draped from low hanging limbs of fig trees. Next we visit the Kob Mating Ground—a defined area specifically used by these stunning antelopes for challenging other males, enticing females and mating. Finally we’ll pass through beautiful savannah grasslands as we head towards the breathtaking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

While most of today's forests are no more than 12,000 years old, Bwindi's vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles for over 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterflies, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 species of mammals including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L'Hoest's, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and Bwindi's most famous resident, the mountain gorilla.

Bwindi is a prime destination for bird- watchers. Its 350 species include seven which are IUCN red data listed and 90% of all Albertine Rift endemics – species which are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa.

Up-market: Chameleon Hill Lodge

Moderate: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge 

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Camp 

 

Day 11: Mountain Gorilla habituation Experience (spending 4 hours with the gorillas)

We have an early morning entry into the mountain gorillas’ sanctuary. Our intimate gorilla habituation experience allows you to accompany the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s Bwindi gorilla habituation team for the entire day, allowing you to have a minimum 4 hours in the presence of a mountain gorilla family – since regular permits only allow 1 hour, this is 4 times the amount of time spent up close with Gorillas – more than any other safari operator! During this time you will be able to experience the gorilla family as they wake up, hunt, patrol, play, fight, copulate, and breastfeed until they build their nests at bedtime.

The thrill of spending time with and observing these gentle giants is a rare and moving ad- venture that will leave you with long lasting memories. Spending more time with them than the norm means you are assured of the best possible experience, with 4 full hours for better photography, researcher access for more questions, and enough time to experience more intimate and unusual behaviors. The gorillas are shy and peaceful animals and it is an unforgettable experience to watch and photograph them as they interact with each other.

The walking can sometimes be tough and long, but when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent silverback, any discomforts will be quickly forgotten. Once the gorillas are sighted, you will be guided to within 6 meters of the gorillas, and be able to sit all around them while gazing into their big round eyes as the researchers note health, behavior and other characteristics.

Up-market: Chameleon Hill Lodge

Moderate: Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge 

Low Budget: Rushaga Gorilla Camp 

 

Day 12: Golden Monkey Habituation Exercise, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

After an early breakfast, set off for the national park for the Golden Monkey habituation experience which allows you up to 4 hours with the monkeys.

The monkeys are primarily to be found in the bamboo forest that skirt the lower slopes of the volcanoes. The monkeys are very active in the canopy of the bamboo where your guides mimic their calls to follow the group.

 

Up-market:  Mt. Gahinga Lodge

Moderate: Bwindi Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge

Low Budget: Travelers Rest Hotel Kisoro

 

Day 13: Return to Kampala - Entebbe (optional flights available to Entebbe)

Early breakfast before embarking on our return to Entebbe, driving down the 10 grassed and terraced escarpments of southwestern Uganda while taking in the breathtaking sights of the hills of the region dubbed ‘the little Switzerland of Africa’. This area is a rows. Not to miss as we traverse Mbarara are the impressing longhorn Ankole cattle.

A remarkable highlight of this journey is the Equator line and surely you will cross it as we have a brief stop here. We will be in Entebbe in the evening (about 5:30pm)  before for your flight back home.

POPULAR SAFARIS

Talk to an

East Africa Expert

Enquire about this safari

and tour prices.

Talk to one of our destination experts to start planning your Uganda safari.

Enquire Now

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle
  • G+ - Grey Circle
PRICE PER PERSON FOR DIFFERENT NUMBER OF PEOPLE     Note: PP is Per Person