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: $6695  
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, muddy trails, 2 days chimpanzee-tracking on forested trails, 4WD gameviewing
3p

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


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.

Some of Africa’s most extraordinary landscapes are in Uganda, where mystical Central African forests meet the sun-dappled savannas of the Great Rift Valley. It’s the most breathtaking safari country imaginable. On Uganda’s dramatic volcanoes, we hike in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for the heart-pounding experience of seeing mountain gorillas in the wild. We also explore Kibale Forest, with its bands of wild chimpanzees, and enjoy an exciting big-game safari across the golden grasslands of Queen Elizabeth National Park, where the snow-capped Ruwenzori Mountains create a stunning backdrop for our sightings of elephant, lion, leopard, big herds of buffalo, and the largest concentration of hippos in the world.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Kibale Forest National Park / Wild Chimpanzees

We head through Uganda’s lush countryside to Kibale Forest National Park, where we track bands of chimpanzees as they play, feed, and scamper across the treetop canopy. We may also see other denizens of the park, including vervet, colobus, and red-tailed monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys.

Days 4-6
Queen Elizabeth National Park

In the Great Rift Valley, Queen Elizabeth National Park features stunning ecosystems teeming with diverse wildlife. We 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, the remnant of a once-vast primeval forest, is home to 11 primate species including some 300 magnificent mountain gorillas, half of the world’s population of this highly endangered mammal. From lovely Gorilla Forest Camp, we 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, we’re assured of encounters with these elusive creatures.

Days 10-11
Entebbe

We fly to Entebbe, where optional activities include a visit to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary at Ngamba Island. Depart on Day 11.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Special Perspectives on East Africa Symposium Departures!

Join us for an extraordinary symposium and safari program featuring a remarkable group of world-renowned wildlife experts and conservationists.

Jun 15-28, 2014
Jun 25-Jul 9, 2014

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
Jun 15-25, 2014  Denis Erabu
Jun 29-Jul 9, 2014  Denis Erabu
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 2014
$6695 (10-12 members)
$7095 (6-9 members)
Single supplement: $1260
Forced single supplement: $1060
Internal airfare: $400 (subject to change)
Chimp permits (2 treks): $300
Gorilla permits (2 treks): $1000
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Gorilla Tracking In Rwanda's Parc Des Volcans
   from: $1995
Masai Mara National Reserve Extension
   from: $3795

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

Minimum fee: None per person
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.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Denis Erabu

Departure Dates: June 15-25, 2014, June 29-July 9, 2014

Denis Erabu, born in eastern Uganda, is of the Kumam tribe. He grew up in a rural village, where his father is a local chief. After completing secondary school, Denis moved to Kampala and became an escort driver for an NGO that delivered relief supplies to Southern Sudan. Four years later, he ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Habibu Muhereza

Departure Dates: August 23-September 2, 2014

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 ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

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