Uganda: Gorillas, Chimps and Game

Discover the misty mountains and rolling savannahs of the lower Rift Valley; a world of impenetrable forests and great apes…

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10 days from £4,150 pp sharing

Other dates available on request

  • Includes all accommodation, activities, meals, and transfers
  • Price includes 2 gorilla permits, and 1 chimp permit
  • Deposit £1000 pp. Single supplement £415 pp
  • Excludes international flights and visas

Download our 2013/14 Tours Guide for information on booking your flights and FAQs about our tours

Your accommodation deep in the Kibale Forest

Known as the ‘Pearl of Africa’, Uganda sits on the western corridor of the Great Rift Valley between the vast jungles of Central and West Africa and the grass savannahs to the east. This offers an incredible diversity of landscape where visitors can explore pristine rainforests, snow-capped mountains, rolling savannahs, and great lakes.

This 10 day tour showcases the remarkable diversity of Uganda’s wildlife, including the chance to encounter one of the most impressive primates in Africa – the endangered Mountain Gorilla that lives on the slopes of the Bwindi Forest. We offer 2 Gorilla permits and 1 Chimpanzee permit as part of the tour cost.

Your journey will also bring you close to a diverse range of other African wildlife, including tree climbing Lions, wild Chimpanzees in the Kibale Forest, predators and antelope on the open grass plains, and a great number of bird species.

  • Discover the lush equatorial forests of Bwindi National Park and come face to face with a family of Mountain Gorillas, including the impressive yet gentle Silverbacks. Bwindi has 280-320 individual Gorillas living in 15 groups.
  • Take an early morning walk to find, observe, and photograph the Chimpanzees of Kibale before eating breakfast in the forest.
  • Take game drives and night walks in Lake Mburo National Park, home to Leopard, Klipspringer, Spotted Hyena, Topi, Impala, Burchell’s Zebra, Defassa Waterbuck, Eland, Buffalo, and over 340 recorded water and dry land species of bird.
  • Enjoy a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel between lakes Edward and George; an area with one of the highest concentrations of Hippos in Africa and a superb variety of wetlands birds.
  • Take a canoe trip on Lake Mutanda to visit a local coffee farmer. This is a wonderful insight into Ugandan culture that few visitors get to experience and is exclusive to Encounter the Wild.
  • Enjoy bird watching in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemics, including globally threatened species such as the Shelley’s Crimsonwing and the African Green Broadbill.
  • Visit a Batwa community and hike with their village guide through the forest, learning about their traditions and customs.
  • Explore the grassy savannah plains, leafy forests, dense papyrus swamps, and volcanic crater lakes of Queen Elizabeth National Park. This park has one of the highest bio-diversity ratings of any game reserve in the world, including 95 recorded mammal species and more than 610 bird species.
  • Walk the Bigodi wetlands in the shadow of the famous “Mountains of the Moon”, the Ruwenzori Mountains. This remarkable area features 8 primate species, numerous rare mammals, over 200 bird species, many reptiles, and uncounted varieties of trees, shrubs and vines.
  • Go in search of the famous fig tree climbing Lions in Ishasha.
  • Travel with some of the most experienced wildlife guides in Uganda, renowned for their in depth understanding of the country and its wildlife.

Days 1 and 2
On arrival at Entebbe International Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your very comfortable hotel. You will have the rest of the day to relax and time to prepare for your Ugandan adventure.

On the following day we will set off to Kibale, passing through the beautiful countryside of farmland and tea plantations before reaching the borders of the tropical forest. Your luxury tent accommodation at Kibale lies deep in the jungle, surrounded by the natural beauty of the forest and close to the gateway to the Chimpanzee habitat.

Day 3
Today we explore Kibale Forest National Park. The forest is home to 13 primate species and a morning guided forest walk can be taken in search of one of the most popular primate species in the world – the Chimpanzee. Although chimp sightings can never guaranteed, our guides have very high success rates in locating the family groups that pass through the area, feeding and resting in the many fruit trees. The walking is fairly easy due to the well maintained trails. Exploring the lush forests in the morning, surrounded by birdsong, is always inspiring.

Days 4 and 5
Today we will drive to the open savannahs, crater lakes, and forest gorges of Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). The drive passes through Fort Portal and then south along the eastern length of The Rwenzori Mountains, with the hope of viewing the glacial peaks. We then gently descend into The Great Rift Valley and Queen Elizabeth National Park. We will spend our time here on game drives in search of endemic antelope and predators, on guided walks to spot birds and possibly Chimpanzees in the gorge, and on boat trips along the Kazinga Channel. The channel is well known for its water birds, Elephant, and Buffalo and has one of the highest concentrations of Hippos in Africa. There is also a chance to visit the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary in the morning before we reach QENP.

Days 6 and 7
Today we drive through the QENP to the Ishasha region in search of the tree climbing Lions. Then we continue onward to Bwindi and the high altitude forests that are home to over 300 Mountain Gorillas, almost half of the world’s population. Day 7 offers the highlight of our tour, the chance to trek through the forests in search of the Mountain Gorillas. This trek can sometimes be strenuous, but with the support of your expert guides and thoughts of the encounter to come in your mind, it quickly becomes a thrilling adventure. The privilege of encountering a family of Mountain Gorillas is an unrivalled wildlife experience, and is for many the pinnacle of travelling to Africa.

Days 8 and 9
Today we enjoy our second full day Gorilla tracking activity. Our experience tells us that a second trek is always worthwhile and therefore we always include the cost of a second permit in your tour price. Not only does it increase your chances of seeing the Mountain Gorillas, but every encounter is different – who knows what you might witness on your second meeting with the Great Apes?

On Day 9 we move onward to Lake Mburo National Park, leaving the thick forests of Bwindi behind us. Here we will enjoy game drives through the picturesque landscape, guided walks, and spend time admiring the grass valleys, rocky outcrops, lakes, and hills. A wide variety of birds, antelope, and predators are found in this region, and night drives will also be offered to increase our chances of spotting the variety of wildlife.

Day 10
On our final day we set off for Entebbe early in the morning.

Just some of the wild Uganda you may encounter:

  • Mountain Gorilla
  • Chimpanzee
  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Black & White Colobus
  • Red Colobus
  • L’Hoest’s Monkey
  • Grey-cheeked Mangabey
  • Red-tailed Monkey
  • Hippopotamus
  • Elephant
  • Cape Buffalo
  • Ugandan Kob
  • Topi
  • Eland
  • Jackson’s Hartebeest
  • Giant Forest Hog
  • African Fish Eagle
  • Sooty Flycatcher
  • Speckled Mousebird
  • Monitor Lizard
  • Nile Crocodile

Many of the photos you see on this site were taken by amateur photographers on our tours.

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Encounter the wild are privileged to work with and support the United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda.

This Batwa led initiative aims to support the communities in south west Uganda by addressing problems with land, education, and livelihood. Please read our tour brochure for more information on how your participation can make a difference.