SPECIAL EVENT

Perspectives on East Africa Symposium: Mountain Gorilla Safari

Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth, and Bwindi National Parks

Perspectives on East Africa Symposium: Mountain Gorilla Safari route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $9495  
Length: 14 days
Arrive: Entebbe, Uganda
Depart: Nairobi, Kenya
Lodging: 10 nights hotels and lodges, 3 nights tented camp at Bwindi
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners
Activity: Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History, Hiking / Trekking
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

  • Three-day symposium at historic Mt. Kenya Safari Club featuring five of the world’s top wildlife researchers, conservationists, and paleontologists
  • Enjoy two thrilling days of gorilla tracking in World Heritage-listed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Track chimpanzees on foot in Kibale Forest National Park
  • Classic 4WD gameviewing safari on the golden savannas of Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Great Rift Valley
  • Comfortable forest lodges allow us superb access to the wildlife

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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.

This itinerary is part of the Perspectives on East Africa Symposium & Safari Program, which offers the special opportunity to learn from and mingle with a remarkable group of world-renowned wildlife experts and conservationists.
 
The safari described on this page is one of six special journeys which are being offered in conjunction with the symposium. For information on the other symposium safaris click on these links: Cradle of Mankind, Hemingway’s Africa, Kenya Photo Safari, Out of Africa, and Serengeti Wildlife Safari.

This extraordinary safari brings us one of the greatest wildlife experiences in the world: tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. In this World Heritage Site, we search for gorilla clans as we hike through primeval equatorial forests with specialist tracker-guides. With two full days of gorilla tracking, we have amazing up-close encounters with these magnificent animals—it’s one of the most thrilling adventures on the planet. Our journey also features Kibale Forest National Park, with its bands of wild chimps, and a breathtaking big-game safari across the savannas of Queen Elizabeth National Park, one of the gems of the celebrated Great Rift Valley.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Kibale Forest National Park, Uganda / Wild Chimpanzees

We head through Uganda’s lush countryside to Kibale Forest National Park. From romantic Ndali Lodge, with its magical location at 5,000 feet in tropical rainforest, we track bands of chimpanzees as they play, feed, and scamper across the treetop canopy. We may also see other park denizens, including vervet, colobus, red-tailed monkeys, and grey-cheeked mangabeys.

Days 4-6
Queen Elizabeth National Park

In the Great Rift Valley, vast Queen Elizabeth National Park features stunning and diverse ecosystems teeming with wildlife. We safari by 4WD vehicle on lake-dotted savannas, walk shade-covered trails in the Maramagambo Forest, and cruise on the Kazinga Channel, with its huge population of hippos—up to 30,000!

Days 7-9
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park / Gorilla Tracking

Set on Uganda’s western border, Bwindi is one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth, a remnant of a once-vast primeval forest. Today it is home to 11 primate species including some 300 highly endangered mountain gorillas. 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.

Days 10-11
Entebbe / Nairobi

We fly to Entebbe, with the opportunity for optional activities that may include a visit to the Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Sanctuary at Ngamba Island, then fly to Nairobi.

Days 12-14
Perspectives on East Africa Symposium

Presentations, excursions, and other activities with our guest speakers at the Mount Kenya Safari Club. Note: *This safari is offered both pre- and post-symposium. The post-symposium safari features the same itinerary, but with the symposium at the beginning.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Perspectives on East Africa 2014 Brochure

A Symposium & Safari Program in East Africa, June 2014
Enjoy a rare opportunity to meet the leading experts on East Africa’s wildlife, photography, and the origins of mankind, all in the magnificent setting of Kenya’s Central Highlands. Guest experts include Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Dr. Louise Leakey, and wildlife photographer Frans Lanting. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience of East Africa. Space is limited, call soon!

View our Perspectives on East Africa 2014 Brochure brochure in three ways!

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 to Strenuous. 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 15-28, 2014  Denis Erabu
Jun 25-Jul 9, 2014  Denis Erabu

Program Cost

Prices are for 2014
$9495 (10-12 members)
$9995 (7-9 members)
$10495 (4-6 members)
Single supplement: $1690
Internal airfare: $580 (subject to change)
Gorilla and chimp permits: $1300
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Masai Mara National Reserve Extension
   from: $3795
Lamu Extension
   from: $2595

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Program of presentations by Guest Speakers and symposium excursions
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy, including one night in Nairobi and two nights at the Mount Kenya Safari Club during the symposium, and hotels, lodges, and camps on safari
  • Meals from breakfast on June 26 through lunch on June 28 during symposium, and as designated in the detailed itineraries on safari
  • Charter flights during symposium
  • Land transportation during symposium and on safari, with guaranteed window seating on game drives
  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides on safari
  • Camp staff and group camping and cooking equipment on camping safaris
  • Group airport transfers on scheduled arrival and departure dates
  • Beverages and laundry service at designated camps on safari

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare to and from Africa, internal airfare within Africa, meals not specified after each day in the detailed trip itinerary, park fees and permits, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.). Extensions and any optional side trips and excursions such as balloon safaris are at your own expense. Beverages and laundry service are included at certain camps on safari but not at all locations.

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $1000
180 days prior to departure: 25%
90 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum cancellation fee: $500 per person
365-181 days prior to departure): $1000 non-refundable
180-91 days prior to departure): All deposits to date non-refundable
90 days prior to departure: 100% of trip costs, internal airfares, park fees, and permits non-refundable

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

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 ...
Click here for full description and more photos

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 ...
Click here for full description and more photos

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 ...
Click here for full description and more photos

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 ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Nairobi Hotel

Day 11 (1 night), Nairobi, Kenya

In Nairobi, we stay at one of the following properties:

Mount Kenya Safari Club

Mount Kenya Safari Club

Days 12 to 13 (2 nights), Nanyuki, Kenya

Nestled in the foothills of snow-capped Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest mountain, the Mount Kenya Safari Club is an ideal base for our ...
Click here for full description and more photos

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.

Denis Erabu

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 decided to make a career change and entered the tourism industry, pursuing his childhood interest in wildlife. Through a combination of on-the-job and formal training courses in Uganda with the Queen Elizabeth Bird Observatory and BirdLife International, Denis has gained extensive knowledge as a safari guide with a speciality in birding. He has been a professional driver-guide since 1995 and is a member of the Uganda Birdwatching Society. When not guiding, Denis loves to read and watch wildlife documentaries. He lives in Kampala with his wife and four children.

Upcoming Trips:

Perspectives on East Africa Symposium: Mountain Gorilla Safari, June 15-28, 2014
Mountain Gorilla Safari, June 15-25, 2014
Perspectives on East Africa Symposium: Mountain Gorilla Safari, June 25-July 9, 2014
Mountain Gorilla Safari, June 29-July 9, 2014

Client Testimonials:


Denis is an excellent Trip Leader and an admirable human being. He is very knowledgeable on all aspects of the trips. Toni K., Berkeley CA Denis was amazing at locating and identifying wildlife. He knew everyone in Uganda and used his contacts to enhance our trip. Sue M., San Carlos CA Denis is awesome! He took good care of us. Linda C., Morgan Hill CA Denis was terrific and was very knowledgeable about everything! Molly H., Annapolis MD Denis had expert knowledge of the wildlife, animals, and environment. He was courteous, thoughtful, and accommodated everyone. Susan S., Chicago, IL
Denis is both a great guide and a great person. He was what made our trip truly unforgettable. I can't say enough great things about how wonderful he was in every aspect. David H., Denver, CO
Mountain Gorilla Safari
Dennis is a wonderful person, very knowledgeable and accommodating. You have a real gem in him and I cannot speak highly enough about him as a Trip Leader. Bill H., Westlake, OH
Mountain Gorilla Safari

Optional Extensions

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

Kenya

Lamu Extension

Relaxing on Kenya's Indian Ocean Coast

Cultural Adventures, Snorkeling
4 days  -  Level 1

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