Mountain Gorillas, Chimps, Big Game Safari, and Murchison Falls with Edward Kabagyo or Denis Erabu

Overview

Join us on the ultimate experience of Uganda! Our newest safari explores this exquisite country, renowned as the most beautiful in Africa. We’ll bring you to legendary Murchison Falls, the country’s first national park, where we will have thrilling wildlife encounters in this uncrowded, yet spectacular park. The great Nile River funnels through a 20-foot-wide rocky gorge here, creating a thundering cascade. On a private excursion, we’ll boat up the Nile right to the base of the falls, and enjoy fabulous game viewing in the delta area downstream (fantastic birding—more than 450 species!). The park is also only one of the few places in the world that you can see endangered Nubian (Rothschild’s) giraffe, and our visit supports their protection. One of the most incredible wildlife experiences on the planet is tracking mountain gorillas in the wild, and we’ll give you two full days in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, so that you have the greatest chances of close encounters with these extraordinary creatures. We’ll also hike in Kibale Forest National Park, following wild chimpanzees as they move through the treetop canopy, and our big game safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park is utterly exhilarating. Our Trip Leaders open up the world of wildlife and community for us, and we’ll have lunch with a community leader near Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary, a fascinating example of community support for a unique ecosystem. Throughout our adventure, wonderful lodges give us great access to the wildlife.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-4
Entebbe / Murchison Falls National Park

From Entebbe, we head north through lush countryside to Murchison Falls, Uganda’s largest and first national park. Four of the Big Five are here—lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant—along with Jackson’s hartebeest, bushbucks, Uganda kob, waterbucks, the endangered Nubian giraffe, and some 450 bird species, including the rare and bizarre looking shoebill. Our game viewing is complemented by a visit to Murchison Falls itself, the famous falls where the thunderous White Nile squeezes its entire volume with explosive force through a narrow, 20-foot-wide rocky gorge, and private boat excursions on the Nile right to the base of the falls and to a wonderfully calm stretch of water of the Nile Delta, a key area for birds—and more exciting game viewing!

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Days 5-6
Kibale Forest National Park / Chimpanzee Tracking

Kibale, home to 11 primate species, is said to have the highest density and variety of primates in Africa. With our local tracking guide, we follow good pathways through a network of beautiful shady trails in search of chimpanzees, following these acrobats as they leap from tree to tree on their daily rounds of foraging.

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Days 7-8
Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, Kibale Forest / Queen Elizabeth National Park

We enjoy a “swamp walk” with a local naturalist, crossing the wetland on raised trails and bridges that network through this fascinating ecosystem. Our walk provides great primate viewing opportunities (eight species including grey-cheeked mangabeys, red colobus monkeys, and baboons). For lunch we meet with a local leader who is involved with community development and wildlife conservation and who spearheaded the development of the Bigodi Swamp Walk. A scenic drive brings us to Queen Elizabeth National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that supports a wonderful diversity of wildlife in habitats ranging from lowland rainforest to wetlands to grassy savannas. We enjoy game viewing by 4WD vehicle in the park’s lake-dotted savannas, and a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel, where we view large concentrations of hippo, elephant and other wildlife as they come to the water’s edge to drink.

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Days 9-12
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park / Gorilla Tracking

Bwindi, a World Heritage Site, protects a remnant of a once-vast primeval forest that stretched from the Virunga Volcanoes to the Ruwenzori Mountains. Among the 11 resident primate species are 310 magnificent mountain gorillas, half of the world’s population of this elusive and highly endangered mammal. Our incomparable safari includes two full days for the unforgettable experience of tracking the mountain gorilla clans that reside in Bwindi’s montane forests. The tracking can be physically challenging, but the rewards are tremendous and the rigors soon forgotten when we spot a gorilla family and have the opportunity to observe these gentle creatures. Depart on Day 12 via Entebbe.

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Highlights

Highlights

Explore spectacular Murchison Falls, where the Nile forces its way through a 20-foot gorge
Private boat excursion to the base of the falls
Track mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park
Phenomenal game viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park in the Great Rift Valley
Enjoy lunch with a local community leader and help support local environmental projects

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $7995  
Arrive: Entebbe, Uganda
Depart: Entebbe, Uganda
Lodging: 11 nights hotels and safari lodges
Meals: All meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History, Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

2 days of gorilla tracking (2-8 hours including one hour spent with the gorillas on steep and sometimes muddy forests with no trails), 1 day chimpanzee tracking (2-4 hours on and off forested trails), 4WD game viewing, private riverboat excursions

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