5 Days Bwindi Gorillas and Chimpanzee Safari
These 5 Day Bwindi gorilla and Chimpanzee safari will usher you to Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable national park, a UNESCO world heritage site, and home to 459 gorillas, which is an increase from 400 as of the 2018 census. These 459 gorillas are categorized into 50 gorilla groups or families, of which only 21 are currently habituated for tourism. In some gorilla groups, you will find more than one silverback in which case it implies the other silver-backs had to submit to his leadership or break away and start their own families. The trip combines the spectacular views of the Volcanoes and the incredible tracking of the mountain gorillas. Visiting Bwindi gives you the opportunity to experience the African tropical rain forest and its inhabitants, who include the animals and the local people. You will also get a feel of the different communities and their cultures as well as the unending waving of hands and smiles from the children. You will have a visit to some crater lakes such as Mutanda or Mulehe, the Batwa, and have a memorable encounter with the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Bwindi also contains other species of animals with their numbers estimated at 310 butterflies, 200 trees, 51 reptiles, 88 months, 120 mammals, and 350 bird species. There are also several other primate species, such as chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkeys, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, vervet monkeys, and red tail monkeys.
- Gorilla trekking
- Community walks to visit (The Batwa pygmies, tea picking, local coffee processing, local gin brewing, visiting the traditional medicine man, a visit to Bwindi community hospital, and a visit to the women’s group, “Ride for a woman”)
- Buying local crafts
- Award of gorilla trekking certificates
- Game drive in Ishasha sector
- Chimpanzee tracking
- Boat cruise on Kazinga channel
Day 1: Pick up from a hotel in Kampala or Entebbe near the airport, and drive to Bwindi
Meet and greet our company representative at the hotel address after having your breakfast and head out to the biologically diverse and unique magnificent Bwindi impenetrable rainforest in southwestern Uganda, which has more than half the world population of mountain gorillas. You will have a stopover at the Equator along the Kampala/Masaka highway for photographs and souvenir shopping accompanied by an en-route lunch in Mbarara town. Proceed to Bwindi, the home of gorillas in Uganda. Have dinner and an overnight stay at any of the booked safari lodges.
Day 2: Gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi impenetrable national park
Have an early breakfast and set out for mountain gorilla trekking in one of the four sectors (Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo) of Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park by 7:30 am for briefing and eventual allocation of gorilla group to trek. Hike through the rainforest accompanied by a ranger guide and trackers, in search of the mountain gorilla family allocated for trekking. The walking can be challenging at times, but when you catch a glimpse of the humongous silverback with his family, any discomforts will quickly be forgotten. The lead guide keeps providing information about trees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife in the forest as you trek until you reach the gorilla family allocated for tracking. The gorillas are located in different parts across the forest and therefore, the time taken to find one group varies from a few minutes to several hours depending on the location and movement of the Gorillas. Once with the gorillas, you will be allowed to observe them for an hour. At the end of the trek, you will return to the park headquarters and information Centre to be awarded your trekking certificates. You will then meet the driver guide and transfer back to the lodge for relaxation and overnight.
Day 3: Drive to Queen Elizabeth national park
You will wake up and have morning breakfast, then drive to Queen Elizabeth national park via Ishasha in the southern sector mainly known for the tree-climbing lions and elephants for a game drive with a possibility of seeing the tree-climbing lions and other wildlife. After the game dive, you will proceed to the northern sector of the park for Dinner and an Overnight stay at a lodge of your choice.
Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge and transfer to Kibale forest national park
After early morning breakfast, you will drive for chimpanzee trekking in either Kyambura gorge or Kalinzu forest. Return for lunch after the tracking activity and then proceed for a boat cruise on the Kazinga channel after lunch. This is a very rewarding experience where you will see lots of animals in water and along the shores of the channel such as crocodiles, hippos, elephants, buffalos, and many bird species as pelicans, African fish eagles, pied kingfishers, African jacana, long-tailed cormorants and many more.
Day 5: Chimpanzee trekking experience in Kibale forest national park
After morning breakfast you will transfer to the park for your chimpanzee trekking experience, the chimpanzee experience is a 3-4 hours activity depending on when you find the chimpanzees and you will spend one hour with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat and later return to the lodge for relaxation and later in the evening you will do a primate walk at the Bigodi wetland sanctuary.
Day 6: Drive back to Entebbe or Kampala
Return back to your Hotel in Kampala/ drop off at Entebbe airport. By road or domestic flight.
After breakfast, set out for another scenic journey through the beautiful terrain of the rolling hills with terraced landscapes. Observe the scenic beauty of the “Bunyaruguru” hills and the tea plantations as you drive back. Along the way, break off for hot a lunch, and proceed to Kampala/Entebbe, arriving late in the afternoon. Drop off at the hotel in Kampala / Entebbe airport for your departure flight.
- Gorilla trekking permits at Bwindi
- Chimpanzee trekking permits
- Park entry fees in Queen Elizabeth NP
- Boat cruise fees at Kazinga channel
- Hot /packed lunches on transfer days
- Bottled water in car
- Professional guide/ driver allowance
- Ground transportation in a 4×4 safari car
- Accommodation for 4 nights
- All meals at lodges
- Airport transfers (pick and drop off)
- International Air ticket and visa fees
- Beers and Wine (alcoholic drinks)
- Laundry expenses and craft shopping
- Travel insurance
- Pre and post-safari accommodation.
When to book a gorilla trekking tour
It is usually advisable to book this trip 6 months in advance to allow us ample time to secure the gorilla permits. On the other hand, visiting the savannah national parks does not necessarily require advance booking.
Best time to do gorilla trekking in Bwindi
Bwindi is open for gorilla trekking all year long, but the best times to go are from June to August and December to February. At these times, the forest trails are drier and therefore less slippery. Also, your chance of a dry gorilla viewing experience is higher during these months.
However, on the other hand, game viewing in Uganda’s savannah national parks is best at the end of the dry seasons- February and March and September and early October when wildlife is concentrated around water sources. Bird watching is fantastic all year round but is at its peak between November and April when migrant species are present.
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