Go trekking for up-close encounters with mountain gorillas

Uganda: A Primate Paradise

Nature & Wildlife
Safari Expeditions
Land-Based Expeditions
Go trekking for up-close encounters with mountain gorillas

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Uganda: A Primate Paradise

Explore Africa’s “Pearl”

Winston Churchill dubbed Uganda the “Pearl of Africa” and for good reason. It’s a diverse country, green and tropical, with a mix of savannas, rainforests, lakes, snow-covered peaks, and even boasts a branch of the mighty Nile River. Your comprehensive trek exposes you to wildlife and plants characteristic of both East and West Africa, meaning that an expedition to Uganda offers more than you can find anywhere else in Africa.

Three Parks; A Thousand Highlights

Unquestionably, IE guests rave about tracking gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest—seeing gorillas in the wild has to rank among the greatest thrills in natural history. But that’s not all, you’ll also search for chimpanzees and other primates in Kibale Forest; and encounter all of Africa’s iconic wildlife—elephants, lions, hippos, leopards, buffalo, and more—in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Uganda is the perfect destination for travelers searching for a unique experience in the vast continent of Africa. Taking a road less-traveled into the misty rainforests, International Expeditions’ Uganda expedition explores three celebrated national parks—Kibale, Queen Elizabeth, and Bwindi— each an impressive destination in its own right.

Daily Itinerary

Uganda: A Primate Paradise Itinerary

  • Day
    1

    Entebbe, Uganda

    Arrive in Entebbe in the late evening and transfer to the Protea Hotel for overnight.

  • Day
    2

    Entebbe / Kibale Natinal Park

    After an early breakfast, begin your fascinating drive to Kibale, traveling through the Rift Valley and 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.” Overnight at beautiful Kyaninga Lodge, perched on the edge of a crater lake at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    3

    Kibale National Park

    Spend a full day 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. Also spend time searching for other species, including gray-cheeked mangabeys; red-tailed and vervet monkeys; and both red and black-and-white colobus monkeys. Return to Kyaninga Lodge for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    4

    Kibale National Park / Queen Elizabeth National Park

    After an early breakfast, return to Kibale to continue your exploration. Enjoy lunch and head for Queen Elizabeth National Park, arriving in time for an evening game drive. Dinner and overnight at Kyambura Gorge Lodge, which overlooks the rolling savanna and distant mountains. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    5

    Queen Elizabeth National Park

    Start your day early with a game drive to explore the rich thicket savanna along the Kazinga Channel, one of the best sites to spot giant forest hogs, then continue south through Maramagambo Forest to the remote southern sector of the Park. Return to the lodge for breakfast, then take a cruise 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. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    6

    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 Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, set on the edge of the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a World Heritage Site and one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet. In the evening attend a briefing on gorilla-watching etiquette followed by dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    7-8

    Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

    Your first full day in the forest is dedicated to tracking mountain gorillas. Divide into two groups and, following an early breakfast, depart for the forest. Under the supervision of trained local guides, head to the site where the gorillas were seen the previous day and then begin your search. Once the gorillas are located, you have time to observe, photograph, and enjoy this unique experience. The next day, meet the Batwa people. Learn about their ancient hunting techniques and medicinal plants during a hike, then sample traditional dishes during a homestead visit. (B,L,D daily)

  • Day
    9

    Bwindi Imenetrable Forest / Entebbe

    After breakfast board your charter aircraft for the short flight to Entebbe. Transfer to the Protea Hotel for dinner and a chance to relax before your independent homeward flight. (B,L,D)

Things to Know

What is included in the Uganda: A Primate Paradise trip?

  • Accommodations, excursions, meals and transportation as listed in the itinerary
  • Services of a private IE driver/guide in addition to local guides for primate treks
  • Arrival and departure transfers between the group hotel and airport no matter what day or time
  • One soft drink or local beer per person per included lunch and dinner
  • Bottled water on excursions, group transfers, at included lunches and dinners and in rooms daily
  • All gratuities to group service staff except your IE driver/guide
  • Scheduled air from Bwindi to Entebbe

Accommodations

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. 

Kyaninga Lodge

Kyaninga Lodge

Set against the striking backdrop of Lake Kyaninga and the legendary Mountains of the Moon, Kyaninga Lodge is the epitome of luxury and style in the wild heart of Africa. Built from over a thousand hand-carved logs, the main building’s exceptional design and scale provides an extraordinary first impression. Once inside, the lodge offers comfortable seating areas around an arresting double-sided, open fireplace, and two raised galleries boast intimate spaces for those wishing to absorb the evocative landscape in a more private setting. The lodge’s eight cottages are built on platforms, which are set apart to offer privacy and tranquility. Each beautifully appointed cottage boasts stylishly rustic furniture, a private deck, and an elegant bathroom with a marble countertop, a claw-footed freestanding bath, and a glass-walled shower. Delicious meals, using locally sourced ingredients, are served in the main building, while the swimming pool, which overlooks the lake, provides the perfect spot to soak up the surrounding natural beauty. Guests looking for a little more adventure can follow the steps down from the pool to the remarkably blue waters of the lake surrounded by primeval forest.

Kyambura Gorge Lodge

This eclectic safari lodge has been converted from an old coffee store to create a breathtakingly beautiful space. The lodge is located on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park with sweeping views of the rolling savannah and Kyambura Gorge. While staying at the lodge during your Uganda safari, enjoy en-suite luxury shower rooms with flushing toilet, double vanity, shower with hot and cold running water. Kyambura Gorge lodge also features a swimming pool and massage area, as well as Wi-Fi and charging stations available in the main lodge building.


Bwindi Lodge

Bwindi Lodge

Overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Bwindi Lodge is the finest gorilla lodge in Bwindi. The property is a great place to spot monkeys and birds in the surrounding foliage and gorillas often come to relax in the verdant bush near the lodge. The property is currently being renovated and will be completed in 2020 to feature upgraded cottages, a new dining room, and sauna will be added to the Humula Forest Spa. Each of the guest cottage has a sitting area, private terrace facing the forest, and an en suite luxury shower room.

From: $9,990 per person
Duration
9 Days, 8 Nights
Guest Capacity
10 Guests
Trip Type
Land
Expedition Destinations

Trip Highlights

  • Hike through mahogany forests in Kibale National Park, home to chimpanzees, over 250 butterfly species, and 360 bird species.
  • View the famous tree-climbing lions in the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the few places where this behavior may be seen.
  • Enjoy up-close encounters with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, one of the world’s most profound wildlife experiences.
  • Stay in some of the region’s most luxurious lodges, including Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.