Chimps, Lions & Mountain Gorillas

Itinerary

Day 1

Travel to Kibale forest national park

Have breakfast and drive off to western Uganda, going through green rolling hills of central and western Uganda. Have a stop-over at Nakayima tree, a cultural goddess worshipped by people from all over East Africa. Proceed to Fort Portal as you enjoy the green tea plantations, and the wind-ward effects of the Giant Rwenzori Mountains. Have lunch en-route and continue to Kibale Forest National Park. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 2

Chimpanzee Sights and Community Sounds

The day will start with early morning breakfast and briefing from Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers. Proceed to the depth of this natural tropical rainforest in search of our closest relative still living in the wild. This forest boasts of the highest density of primates in East Africa, and seeing them moving freely in the wild is an exciting encounter. After the lunch break, we shall proceed to local communities for nature walks. Expect to see natural bee keeping, honey processing and be ready to taste honey in its natural combs – it’s really honey! The day will end with a walk through Bigodi wetland, a community project supporting the poor around Kibale National Park. The wetland offers over 200 bird species, varieties of butterflies and primates. Return to lodge for overnight stay.

Day 3

Savanna Wildlife Sights

Have breakfast and set off to Queen Elizabeth National Park, driving alongside the foothills of the Rewnzori Mountains, at the base of the Great East African Rift Valley. Have a stop-over at Mabere ga Nyinamwiru, stalactites and stalagmites forming as a result of underground water dissolving limestone rocks. Rest briefly at lodge and embark on the afternoon game drive searching for elephants, buffaloes, various types of antelopes, warthogs, etc.

Day 4

Savanna Wildlife Sights

Have early morning breakfast and set off for the morning game drive in the grazers mating area. Carefully search for lions, hyenas, elephants, buffaloes and many more wild animals. Return to lodge for lunch and take an afternoon luxury boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel, connecting between lakes Edward and George. Your eyes will be treated to varieties of bird species, wild animals, including dozens of schools of hippos. This cruise is ranked by many as one of the most exciting activities in Uganda. In the evening, you will be treated to community cultural dance and drama.

Day 5

Tree Climbing lions and descent to the land of Mountain Gorillas

After early morning breakfast, we shall set off for Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in the south, carefully driving through the southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park for more wild animals and importantly, tree climbing lion. Driving through rural Uganda, with sights of green hills marked by agricultural terraces are truly refreshing. Reach Bwindi late afternoon and have good rest for the big day, gorilla sights and sounds.

Day 6

Gorilla Tracking

Have an early morning breakfast, after which you will get to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest information centre for briefing. You will then set off into this tropical rainforest, hilly and soggy, to track the mountain gorillas. It’s a fairly tough walk but one you’ll never forget – the sight of these apes as they feed, play and relax is extremely amazing. Besides the gorillas, our close relatives still in the wild, you will encounter hundreds of bird species, small mammals, primates and lots of plant life. Return to lodge for overnight stay.

Day 7

Community sights and sounds

Have morning breakfast and head to the Sir Winston Churchill pavilion, a breathtaking sight where he stood over a century ago to have a magnificent look at the Kigezi region. At this historic point, you will have a wonderful view of the Kigezi region, with its green hills, rivers, lakes and scattered settlements, all in one sight as seen by Churchill. 

Set off for ancient burial cave exploration in Lake Mutanda. This is the only lake declared Bilharzia free during the colonial time and was visited by all the former colonial governors of Uganda. You will see burial caves for kings, for distinguished women who produced over 13 children; and for girls who conceived before marriage among others. The remains of the people buried in these caves are clearly visible.

After the cave exploration, you will be treated to a fascinating canoe rally by some of the strongest men in the local communities using traditional canoes, while women and men are performing cultural dances for you. You are free to participate in all these activities. Return to lodge for overnight stay.

Day 8

Return to Kampala and departure

Have morning breakfast and set off for Kampala with a stop-over at Igongo Cultural Museum, and eventual departure through Entebbe International Airport. You may take a short city tour to see some of the cultural attractions and torture chambers of the late President Idi Amin Dada.