mountain gorilla tracking; uganda safari; bwindi national park

Mountain gorilla, Bwindi National Park, Uganda

Bwindi’s magical montane forests are home to half of the world's population of mountain gorillas, a highly endangered mammal. We hike through dense, sometimes steep forests at altitudes of up to 8,500 to find and observe the gorilla families.

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Mountain Gorilla Safari route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6995  
Length: 11 days
Arrive: Entebbe, Uganda
Depart: Entebbe, Uganda
Lodging: 7 nights hotels and lodges, 3 nights tented camp at Bwindi
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History, Walking
Trip Level: 2 days of gorilla tracking, hikes of 2-6 hours on steep and sometimes muddy trails, 2 days chimpanzee tracking on forested trails, 4WD gameviewing
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Highlights

  • Enjoy thrilling encounters with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Track chimpanzees on foot in Kibale Forest National Park
  • Phenomenal gameviewing safari on the savannas of Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Great Rift Valley
  • Comfortable forest lodges with superb access to the wildlife
  • Experience Uganda’s welcoming culture


I wish I was still there. Everything about the trip was unique and so memorable!Laura C.—Whitehouse Station, NJ

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

This active adventure has everything: a thrilling big game safari, gameviewing by boat, culture, conservation, and the ultimate—­the rare opportunity to track chimpanzees and mountain gorillas on foot! To observe these endangered creatures up-close in the wild is one of the world’s most unforgettable experiences­—the excitement of coming within a few feet of them is simply surreal. And Uganda, with its mystical forests, sun-dappled savannas, legendary Great Rift Valley, and the snow-capped Ruwenzori Mountains, is an absolutely gorgeous setting for our adventures, including our safari with sightings of elephant, lion, leopard, herds of buffalo, and the largest concentration of hippos in the world. Our expert guides and comfortable safari lodges keep you safe and well taken care of throughout this exhilarating journey.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Kibale Forest National Park / Wild Chimpanzees

In Kibale Forest National Park, track bands of chimpanzees as they play, feed, and scamper across the treetop canopy. Other denizens of the park include vervet, colobus, and red-tailed monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys.

Days 4-6
Queen Elizabeth National Park Safari

Queen Elizabeth National Park features stunning ecosystems teeming with diverse wildlife. Safari by 4WD vehicle on lake-dotted savannas, walk shady trails in the Maramagambo Forest, and boat on the Kazinga Channel, with its huge population of hippos—up to 30,000!

Days 7-9
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park / Gorilla Tracking

Bwindi is home to 11 primate species including some 300 magnificent mountain gorillas, half of the world’s population of this highly endangered mammal. From our lovely lodge, hike at altitudes of 3,800 to 7,500 feet for the spine-tingling experience of coming face to face with gorillas in the wild. With two full days here, you’re virtually assured of encounters with these elusive creatures.

Days 10-11
Entebbe

Optional activities in Entebbe include a visit to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary at Ngamba Island. Depart on Day 11.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 3+, Moderate. During game drives in our 4WD vehicles, we guarantee window seating for all—there’s no taking turns on who gets the window seats. We use five- or seven-passenger Nissan safari vehicles (never minibuses!), and all vehicles have roof hatches for easy wildlife viewing and photography. A cooler of drinks and refreshments is carried aboard. And our 4WD vehicles can go virtually anywhere, an important feature when we’re tracking game. Please note there are some long driving days over rough roads and dusty dirt tracks.

The hikes to see the mountain gorillas can last anywhere from 3 to 6 hours over moderately steep, thickly forested, and uneven terrain, and the climate will be hot and humid. Gorilla tracking will occasionally feel strenuous as we hike uphill to follow the clans, but we will take breaks along the way.  The shape you’re in will be an important factor in your enjoyment of these hikes. Make an effort to get in good physical condition with hiking, biking, running, or other kinds of exercise beyond your normal routine. A brisk 30-45 minute walk every other day over moderately steep terrain can do wonders for your conditioning.

Any African safari is an adventure, and the traveler to Africa should bring along flexibility, a sense of humor, and an openness to the unexpected.

Our accommodations will be in comfortable hotels, safari lodges, and tented camps with spacious tents equipped with en suite facilities.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2014
Aug 23-Sep 2, 2014  Habibu Muhereza
2015
Jan 9-19, 2015
Feb 20-Mar 2, 2015
Jul 27-Aug 6, 2015
Aug 23-Sep 2, 2015

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$6995 (6-7 members)
$7295 (4-5 members)
Single supplement: $1180
Forced single supplement: $930
Internal airfare: $400 (subject to change)
Chimp permits (2 treks): $300
Gorilla permits (2 treks): $1000
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Masai Mara National Reserve Extension
   from: $3395

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations, based on double occupancy
  • All meals included
  • Guaranteed window seating in LandCruisers
  • Safari camp staff
  • Membership in Flying Doctor Society
  • Land transportation, airport transfers for passengers as noted in Full Trip Brochure, baggage handling

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, optional excursions, airport departure taxes, park fees, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff (tipping the camp crew is normal but entirely at your discretion), additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses of medical immunizations, travel insurance, or passports and visas, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Protea Hotel

Protea Hotel

Day 1 (1 night),
Day 10 (1 night), Entebbe, Uganda

This relatively new hotel is right on the shores of Lake Victoria, just a quick drive from the airport. Well appointed guest rooms are spacious and ...
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Ndali Lodge

Ndali Lodge

Days 2 to 3 (2 nights), Kibale, Uganda

Perched on the rim of an extinct volcano above Lake Nyinambuga, this family-run lodge was built by a British tea farmer and has the wonderful ...
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Kyambura Game Lodge

Kyambura Game Lodge

Days 4 to 6 (3 nights), Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

Located about a half hour’s drive from Queen Elizabeth National Park on the edge of a small village, this intimate lodge has spacious ...
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Gorilla Forest Camp

Gorilla Forest Camp

Days 7 to 9 (3 nights), Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

This luxury tented camp is one of the only properties right inside Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The main lodge has a bar and dining room ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Habibu Muhereza

After working as a teacher for a few years, Habibu, a member of Uganda’s Munyankole tribe, decided to pursue his love of wildlife and completed the necessary training to become a Uganda Wildlife Authority guide. As a ranger and interpretive guide, he has deep knowledge of Uganda’s national parks, including Kibale Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and Queen Elizabeth National Park, where he was appointed the head UWA guide. He loved working in this park because in addition to managing the wildlife, he was also able to educate his local community in co-existing with the neighboring wildlife (the Bushenyi district, where he was born, is on the boundary of Queen Elizabeth National Park). Habibu has an ever-ready smile and loves sharing his country with our safari guests, from its woodlands and forests to the open savanna.

Upcoming Trips:

Mountain Gorilla Safari, August 23-September 2, 2014

Client Testimonials:


Habibu was such a great leader. Knowledgeable, funny, professional, just so good at his job. He was enthusiastic and obviously loves what he does. He took such good care of all of us. Nancy R., Palo Alto, Ca
Mountain Gorilla Safari
Habibu was endlessly professional with a wonderful sense of humor and great driving skills. Heather A., Washington, DC
Mountain Gorilla Safari

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Kenya

wildebeests migration serengeti masai mara kenya tanzania

Masai Mara National Reserve Extension

Spectacular Gameviewing in One of Africa’s Legendary Reserves

Cultural Adventures, Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 2

Rwanda

mountain gorillas silverback rwanda parc des volcans

Gorilla Tracking In Rwanda's Parc Des Volcans

One of the World’s Most Thrilling Wildlife Experiences

Hiking / Trekking, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 4

Client Comments

I wish I was still there. Everything about the trip was unique and so memorable! Laura C., Whitehouse Station, NJ This trip offers an extensive look at a beautiful country that is still off the beaten path. The variety of environments and animals, from savanna to rainforest, is amazing, and the itinerary was very well thought out. Jack S., Evergreen, CO Thoroughly enjoyed this trip. The highlight was observing the mountain gorillas, but every day had something interesting to see or do. Diane S., Evergreen, CO What a great trip! I don’t know how it could have been better...and Uganda—what a special place. Ellen H., Santa Fe, NM
This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A wonderful adventure in a beautiful land. Bruce H., Santa Fe, NM Thank you—I’ll never forget this trip! Judy G., Lafayette, CA This was the trip of a lifetime. It was well planned and organized, and the other travelers were good company. Leaders were attentive and helpful. Animals were spectacular. What's not to like? Cap T., Davis, CA It was a wonderful, memorable trip. We have traveled a lot in Southern Africa and seeing the gorillas and chimps up close was a thrill. Elisabeth B., Buenos Aires, Argentina