Gorillas

Tanzania & Uganda

Nature & Wildlife
Safari Expeditions
Land-Based Expeditions
Gorillas

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Tanzania & Uganda

This incredible African safari combines two of Africa’s most iconic experiences — the thrilling spectacle of Tanzania’s Great Migration and trekking through Uganda’s mist-shrouded forests to come face-to-face with wild mountain gorillas. Enjoy a classic safari experience as you explore the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, home to the greatest concentration of migratory animals on Earth, as well as the Big Five and a wealth of bird species. Then, visit three amazing national parks in Uganda — Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth and Kibale — each one a destination in its own right. Uganda is home to 24 species of primates, as well as a variety of unique wildlife such as the bizarre-looking shoebill and the colorful great blue turaco. International Expeditions’ Tanzania & Uganda safari offers the ultimate African experience, giving you a comprehensive look at a variety of ecosystems with stays at luxurious lodges and intimate tented camps.

Daily Itinerary

Tanzania & Uganda Gorilla Trek

  • Day
    1-2

    Depart / Arusha, Tanzania

    Fly independently to Arusha and overnight at the Klia Lodge. (Meals Aloft)

  • Day
    3

    Arusha / Lake Manyara National Park / Ngorongoro Crater

    We head across the Great Rift Valley toward Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its herds of elephant and tree-climbing lions. Our game drive here is an opportunity to see buffalo, baboon, waterbuck, flamingo and prides of lion. Continue toward Ngorongoro, where we spend the next two nights at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, which features a wonderful view of the crater. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    4

    Ngorongoro Crater

    After a sumptuous breakfast, set out for the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, the world’s largest unflooded caldera (collapsed cone of a volcano). Protected from the outside world by a huge rim, Ngorongoro Crater’s abundance of food and fresh water supports more than 30,000 large mammals. We’ll descend 2,000 feet into the crater for thrilling game drives among Africa’s “Big Five” (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard), but also search out the rare black rhino — this is your greatest chance to observe the East African black rhino in East Africa. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the crater floor, and continue to a nearby Maasai village. During a visit with these welcoming people, learn how this pastoral tribe still tends herds of cows and goats much as their ancestors did. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    5

    Olduvai Gorge / Serengeti National Park

    Head for the Serengeti, en route visiting Olduvai Gorge, where evidence of early man was found by the Leakey family in the late 1950s. The Serengeti Plains are home to the greatest concentration of large mammals on Earth, and our frequent game drives are a chance to see immense herds. We spend the next three nights under canvas at Serengeti Explorer Camp. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    6-7

    Serengeti National Park

    Surrounded by rolling grassland and tree-lined watercourses, this is the hub around which the Serengeti migration circulates. Unlike the southern plains of the Serengeti that dry out, forcing all but the hardiest of species to leave, this area remains lush and green. During the dry season, herds mass on both banks of the Mara River, frequently crossing—and braving the crocodiles—in response to local weather patterns that only they seem to understand. Plains game in the form of zebra, topi, gazelles, impala, buffalo, and giraffe all frequent the area throughout the year. Lions are rarely far away and leopards, ever present but always elusive, stalk the rocky kopjes and river lines. When not on thrilling game drives, you have ample opportunity in camp to learn more about our expert driver/guides and staff, personable locals who strive to bring Africa to life during your safari. (B,L,D Daily)

  • Day
    8

    Serengeti / Entebbe

    Time permitting, embark on one last game viewing activity before boarding our flight to Entebbe, Uganda, where we spend tonight at the Protea Hotel. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    9

    Entebbe / Kibale National Park

    Enjoy a fascinating drive to Kibale, traveling into a patchwork of colorful villages and agricultural lands. Eventually you reach a mixture of forest and tea plantations at the foothills of the looming Rwenzoris, or “Mountains of the Moon.” Spend two nights at beautiful Crater Safari Lodge. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    10

    Kibale National Park: Chimpanzee Trekking

    Spend a full day of your Uganda Safari trekking in Kibale National Park, one of Africa’s most researched and documented forest reserves. Chimpanzees are abundant here — these fascinating creatures are well studied and accustomed to human observers. While there is no guarantee of seeing chimps, the chances are good. If we find chimpanzees, we hope to spend about an hour observing their social behavior. Our skilled guides will also point out gray-cheeked mangabeys; red-tailed and vervet monkeys; and both red and black-and-white colobus monkeys. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    11

    Kibale / Queen Elizabeth National Park

    In the morning we visit one of the area’s swamps, where there is excellent birding and where we look for monkeys, including black-and-white colobus, red colobus, mangabey, L’Hoest’s monkey and others. Birds of the area include some of the large, noisy members of the turaco family. Enjoy lunch and head for Queen Elizabeth National Park, arriving at Mweya Safari Lodge in time for an evening game drive. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    12

    Queen Elizabeth National Park

    Explore this celebrated park, cruising along the famous Kazinga Channel, which connects Lake George to Lake Edward. Birds here are both numerous and spectacular, including multiple species of eagle, stork, waterfowl, kingfisher and bee-eater. Regarded by some as one of Africa’s best birding locations, more than 560 bird species have been recorded in this area. During our expertly guided game drive, look for elephant, buffalo, kob, waterbuck, bushbuck and predators including lion and leopard. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    13

    Queen Elizabeth National Park / Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

    The remote Ishasha sector protects a wilderness of swamps and thorn savanna and is home to large herds of Cape buffalo and topi. The Uganda kob is also conspicuous, with large aggregations gathering at traditional lekking grounds. A special attraction of Ishasha is its population of tree-climbing lions, one of the few places where this behavior may be seen. After lunch, drive to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a World Heritage Site and one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet. Check into Trackers Safari Lodge, our home for two nights, before a briefing on gorilla-watching etiquette. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    14

    Bwindi Impenetrable Forest: Gorilla Trekking

    Following an early breakfast, depart for the forest for your gorilla safari. Under the supervision of trained local guides, head to the site where the gorillas were seen the previous day and then begin your search. Slightly more than half the world’s mountain gorilla population resides in Bwindi – estimated at 320 individuals living in 15 families. During our Uganda gorilla trek you must walk through the forest, with their rangers and trackers, over, under and around vegetation and almost never on a trail. There is no set time for trekking but typical treks are four hours. However, treks can be anywhere from one hour to ten hours or more. Once the gorillas are located, you have time to observe, photograph and enjoy this unique experience. Other activities at Bwindi include forest trekking for the lesser primates and looking for the many bird species that make this montane forest their home, including 23 species endemic to the Albertine Rift and at least 14 species recorded nowhere else in Uganda. Among them are African green broadbill, white-tailed flycatcher, brown-necked parrot, white-bellied robin chat and Frazer’s eagle owl. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    15

    Bwindi Impenetrable National Park / Entebbe / Depart

    Fly from Bwindi to Entebbe. Enjoy a city tour and dinner. Dayrooms are available at Protea Hotel before you transfer to the airport for your independent flight home. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    16

    Arrive Home

    Arrive back in North America and connect to your independent flights home (Meals Aloft)

Accommodations

Ngorongoro Sopa

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Perched on the Eastern rim of the Crater, the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge enjoys spectacular, uninterrupted views of the sunset and sweeping landscapes below. Each of the spacious bedrooms feature two queen beds, separate dressing area and a glass-fronted verandah, where you may enjoy a private view of the Crater.

uganda accommodatiions protea hotel

Protea Hotel

The 73-room Protea Hotel Entebbe is ideally located on the glistening shores of Lake Victoria and a convenient 1km from Entebbe International Airport.  The Tides Restaurant, Terrace and Bar, serves full breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nile perch is a signature dish. Standard rooms include marble bathroom, hair dryer, in-room safe, coffee and tea maker, AC, TV with cable, free Wi-Fi and a mini-bar. 

Serengeti Explorer Camp

Serengeti Explorer Camp

Mobile tented camps ensure that you are as close to the action as possible and give you a sense of being in the wilds of the Serengeti. Impeccable service and fine dining provide a level of luxury and comfort in the middle of the African bush…where every meal is a “bush” meal. The tents are spacious with a veranda, easy chairs, proper beds and an en suite bathroom with flush toilets and hot water showers. Hot water is provided by camp staff in buckets. The lounge tent has a well–stocked bar as well as books on the Serengeti. The dining tent is well-appointed and the food is delicious. Each tent has a butler to attend to your every need. A full crew will accompany your expedition to take care of all the work and details involved in setting up and moving the mobile camps, as well as the housekeeping and catering services.

uganda accommodations mweya lodge exterior

Mweya Lodge

Located on a peninsula within the heart of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya lodge is fitted with en suite rooms fully provided with mosquito netted curtains, high pressure hot showers, powerful ceiling fans and gorgeous verandahs overlooking the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward. The lodge also boasts a wide range of facilities including a swimming pool and pool-side bar, safari bar and restaurant, souvenir shops and satellite TV. This is quite the Mecca for birders, as there are over 600 different species which relish in the flora and fauna of the Park.

From: $12,990 per person
Duration
16 Days, 15 Nights
Guest Capacity
10 Guests
Trip Type
Land

Trip Highlights

  • Explore alongside a small group of no more than 10 guests.
  • Search for the Big Five & a bevy of bird species on morning & evening safaris in Tanzania’s prime wildlife areas.
  • Observe mountain gorillas in their natural habitat while trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
  • View the Great Migration in Tanzania’s celebrated Serengeti Park.
  • Trek through Uganda’s pristine rainforest to discover colorful birds and a variety of primates including chimpanzees, red colobus, golden & red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons & gray-cheeked mangabeys.
  • Visit with local Maasai communities in Tanzania to learn about their customs & way of life.